We’re all familiar with spin-offs from major works, many of which start a trend in popular genres. Examples are Harry Potter and the Twilight series, which have inspired volumes and volumes of stories with a similar premise. Riding the wave of another author’s success must be done with finesse, however. It may have a similar theme, but needs to stand on its own merits. If it doesn’t have some originality and its own value, you just look lazy and incapable of coming up with an original idea.
I’ve seen some really cheesy imitations where I didn’t get past the first chapter. Some were poorly written, others simply unoriginal. We may read our favorite books more than once, but you don’t necessarily want to deal with a remake, kind of like when Hollywood does a remake of one of your favorite movies, that doesn’t quite cut it.
When you come up with an idea that’s similar to an existing work, put some serious creative effort into making it your own with a different twist. Originality and strong writing go a long way toward retaining and gaining fans.