A cool motivation for a serial killer

Interview with the author of Daniel McKay

The Black Swan Killer follows a philosophical detective who is hired by the police to consult on a serial killer trying to prove that humanity is selfish and therefore deserves to die. What was the inspiration for setting up his story?

The Black Swan Killer was my attempt to write what I know. I’ve written a few fantasy books before, but I thought I’d try something where I’m more experienced and a philosopher for my day job, so it seemed like a natural fit. So it was just about making a story that was fun. I had been writing essays on psychological egoism (the idea that ultimately everyone is selfish) and the idea of ​​counterfeiting at the time, and together they seemed like good motivation for a serial killer.

John Consequent is a unique detective unlike any I have read about before. What were some ideals that drove your character development?

To hear my friends (and my wife whose name is Sophia) tell about it, I just got into the book. That’s not true, but it’s not entirely false either. I feel like I took elements of my personality and magnified them to make John, although I’m borrowing a bit from House and some other similar characters.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I mean there are some obvious ones with self-interest, the meaning of life, and arrogance as the main ones. But there is also the value of the impractical (or, perhaps, the non-instrumental) and what people are entitled to in a relationship and in the breakup of a relationship.

What is the next book in the series you are working on and when will it be available?

The second book “The Heavens Fall” just came out a few days ago. It has John trying to defend two people on murder charges, among other legal shenanigans. I’ve started the third book, but that might be a long way off at this point.

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John Consequent is the only philosophical detective in the world. He can’t tell you if your wife has been cheating on you or if she finds the Maltese Falcon, but if you need someone to convince you that your wife exists or to find the true nature of consciousness, he’s your man.

So when he’s hired by the police to consult on a serial killer who’s trying to prove humanity is ultimately selfish, it’s not your usual case. To make matters worse, a group of nihilists want to kill him for explaining the meaning of life to one of his friends.

John is going to need more than a clever argument and a comfortable chair to get out of this.

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