The more people talk about FF the more normalized it'll get. I'm so happy you brought it up!
There are only two people I know in real life who know I write fanfiction, and one of them doesn't realize I'm still writing. Writing ff and playing around with a world that already exists has let me train my skills so that I'm getting confident in venturing out in creating my own world and characters. I think a lot of people think of fanfiction as poorly written crap that tends to get dragged into the media (looking at you, Sherlock community), but I think a lot of people who don't read or write fanfiction don't realize that there are incredible novel length works that are just as amazing as the original works, and can offer insight to underdeveloped characters, or behind the scenes moments that don't fit into a main plot. In college I wrote a paper for my consumer behavior course regarding the Harry Potter fandom, and a large chunk of it had to do with fanfiction. It was an extremely interesting thing to research.
I've written for -
- Harry Potter (books) (not in years though)
- NCIS (television show)
- Sherlock (BBC television show)
- Dragon Age (video game)
Two authors that I can think of off the top of my head who I think have written wonderful works are -
- Sashile (NCIS) had a series of novel length stories. I remember not being able to stop reading anything she wrote, and when one story was in progress, I would wait eagerly for an email notification that she published a new chapter. She also published her own non related fiction book that I meant to look into but never did. Something I'll have to remember to do soon.
- Dasque (Dragon Age Origins) has a couple of phenomenal shorts and completed long works about life after Origins (before or unrelated to 2), but my favorite of her's is (unfortunately) an abandoned work based on the main story of DA:O.