Readers are always looking for the latest books when it comes to the world of publishing especially when it comes to small presses. Obsidian Giant is a publisher that works to publish imaginative works of literature, art, and eclectic craft that encompass all aspects of society with their books and a variety of products. Fandom Spotlite recently got to chat with the co-owners J. Demetrius Belvin and Emma Weidenhamer about their company, titles, and more!
When did Obsidian Giant first start? How have your original goals as a publisher shifted since you started?
Obsidian Giant was established in the fall of 2017. At first, it was just J, as an author. Since then, the company has attracted the attention of other authors, both published and unpublished. This led to the idea of bringing new talent under Obsidian’s umbrella. Our goals have shifted over the years, from simply getting our own work out into the world, to publishing the works of others, and also creating and producing other eclectic items, such as charms, stickers, and jewelry.
What first brought you into publishing? What do you hope to achieve at Obsidian Giant?
In a nutshell, J was looking for a way to publish and promote his own work, on his own time, in his own way. The idea of a publishing company just seemed like a natural one. When Emma joined the business, she had dreamed of becoming a book editor and working at a publishing company. She’s an English major with a passion for perfection when it comes to editing, and J just wasn’t writing fast enough to keep her happy. The obvious solution was to add more authors. Once she took over as co-owner in April, that dream was expanded on. As a team, we both hope to achieve major growth and success for our company. We also strive to exemplify diversity, creativity, and uniqueness.
What types of books do you offer for your readers? And are you working on any new projects currently?
We currently have a focus on science fiction and fantasy, but we aim to expand into other genres. Presently, J is working on a sequel to Brim; we are reading through submissions ranging from zombie apocalypses to historical fiction; and Emma is working on a haiku anthology, which, by the way, we are currently taking open submissions for. If you happen to be interested in submitting a haiku (or a few), feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you just might be featured in our publication!
Are there any books that influenced your work that you’ve read in the past? Or have been inspired by?
We’ve both been inspired by so much in the fantasy, sci-fi, and horror genres. Movies, comics, books, you name it. Emma is currently inspired most by Stephen King, but grew up reading the classics from a very young age. The notion of spending her days with her nose in a book, and consistently seeing errors in myriad books, got her thinking about the editing process. J first got his hands on a single comic book as a kid, and it spiraled from there. He built up his collection to the best of his ability and would read anything he could get his hands on. He really enjoyed Uncanny X-Men for its realism.
What do you think is the most effective way to get new books out to readers?
Our most effective approach to exposure so far has been the convention setting. In hindsight, it should have been obvious that a convention Emma has been attending for years would be a good customer base for books – especially books about aliens, witches, and racist vampires. We have also focused a lot on word of mouth (or word of social media) in the past. Our marketing director will be putting more focus on getting our titles into local shops soon, and we really want to ramp up the in-person events. One of the ideas that is currently being worked out is a Beer and Books event at a local brewery.
Has being a small press changed the way you think about books and writing?
In a way, yes. Once you’re in the thick of things and working for yourself, it really changes your outlook and your understanding and grasp of the process. We aim to be an organization where authors can come with their ideas, and see them in print the way they always imagined them to be. We have the ability to accept work that may not be accepted by major publishers and create avenues for that writer whose work might otherwise never be read.
What do you hope readers gain from reading Obsidian Giant titles?
We hope, above all else, that our readers can pick up one of our books and be transported to that faraway planet, or dimension, and really immerse themselves in it; become lost in that fantasy world, if you will, the way a good book is always known to do.
Tell me about some of the titles you offer and why they are special to you.
Brim was our first published title and is extremely special to us. This novella solidified our presence and paved the way for future projects. This is a YA novella about warring tribes on a dystopian, alien planet. Blood Sisters tells the story of a family of witches, in the POV style. This title is unique in the perspective that it is told from, and was quite fun to both write, and edit. Darkehand, our most recently published story, is about post-apocalyptic, racist vampires. This is Emma’s favorite so far, both for the length and the storyline. A book is special to you once you can say that you’ve put hours of time and effort and work into it, and then are left with a beautiful story as a result.
What are some upcoming events that readers can find you at?
We will be appearing at Bitchcraft on 9/19, in Pittsburgh, PA. We also have a standing table at Steel City Con, in Monroeville, PA. The SCC is held 3-4 times a year, and our next appearance there will be December 10-12.
For more information about Obsidian Giant, you can visit their website, or follow them on social media to catch them at a convention near you and to stay up to date on new projects!