Interview with Kim Belair & Ariadne MacGillivray, authors of Pure Steele

Publisher: Blind Ferret

Publication Date: November 6, 2013

Book Links:  Pure Steele

Synopsis: When an aging treasure hunter goes missing in ‘Darkest Africa’, his daughter Eleanor recruits the world’s greatest explorer to hunt him down. Set in 1910, PURE STEELE is the story of a ramshackle expedition into the heart of the Dark Continent, told in its own words. Part satire, part loving homage to pulp adventure, Pure Steele is an illustrated romp that brilliantly captures the spirit of the era with the winking wit of the modern day.

Authored and illustrated by Ariadne MacGillivray and Kim Belair, with additional illustrations by Glenn Belair, Richard Clark, Benjamin Dewey, Karl Kerschl, Stephen Morrow and Brian Patterson.

Interview: Q. Please tell us about the inspiration for your current release.

ARI: Kim was toying around with the idea of writing some satire about one of those ‘great white hunter’ types and we thought it would be a funny archetype to explore. After several drafts and re-writes, James Alexander Steele III was born.

KIM: Originally he was a more foppish, high-bred figure. This awful, morally bankrupt, full-on Colonialist type.  But I think an entire book about that guy would really hard to get through. So we made him a bit more heroic and a little more understanding of where he comes from.

Q. How did writing this book affect you?

ARI: It gave me the creative outlet that I was missing in my life and I’m probably a more well-rounded person because of it.

KIM: Man, it was the best.  It’s a project I was so passionate about and seeing it made real has been amazing; I didn’t think we’d ever get here. I think I’m just happier.

Q. Is there anything you haven’t written about that you would like to in the future?

KIM: Tons of stuff. I’d really like to do something in the horror genre one day, something supernatural. And I’d like to do more genre fiction about a gentleman or lady thief; I find those kinds of archetypes really fun and it’s probably the next logical step after hunters, explorers and adventurers.

ARI: I would love to try my hand at the superhero genre. There have been some sweet comics coming out these days that have me excited about comics again. I would also love work on a sitcom or any other form of comedy.  I would kill to work on a show like Parks and Rec.

Q. Which of your characters would you want to be and why?

KIM: I’d like to be Jacques Francois, the French poet. He has basically zero responsibilities in the world. His entire mandate with the French Poets Society is to bum around different countries and just write awful poetry about the stuff he sees. I could definitely do that.

ARI: I would love to be Steele! He is the coolest dude and has been all over the world doing amazing things. He is confidence personified and tells the best stories.

Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?

KIM: Yes! The plan has always been to tell the story of the Pryce Expedition across two books, so we’re currently working on the sequel to PURE STEELE, entitled HEART OF STEELE.

Q. What are you currently reading?

KIM: I usually reduce my fiction intake when I’m writing, so right now, I’m reading Nick Offerman’s “Paddle Your Own Canoe” and David Mitchell’s “Back Story”.

ARI: Tons of comics. I’m really digging Saga, Lazarus, and Rat Queens.

Q. All of the books you’ve read, which book has impacted you the most?

ARI: I don’t think that I have an answer for this. I’m sure that there are several books that left a lasting impression but I can’t really think of any of the top of my head. I can tell you that the book I’ve read the most is ‘The Hobbit’.

KIM: That’s a really tough one. I think “Watership Down” is probably the book I think about the most, oddly, because its structure and its mythology really drew me in. It was beautiful, sometimes funny, sometimes eerie, and it really inspired me.

Q. How do you like to spend your spare time?

KIM: I don’t know if it’s sad, but I like to spend my spare time writing, too. It’s probably the most exciting, engaging thing I can do and it’s what I do even when I’m travelling. But besides that, I’d say exploring ghost towns and abandoned buildings or playing way too many video games.

ARI: Video games! I also love watching bad movies and playing board games with my friends.  

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

ARI: We love you!


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