In the early 1800s, a British novelist said of a real-life Persian political tyrant who was a eunuch: “I have placed him in my narrative, as a painter sometimes inserts a dragon or some such monster in the foreground of his landscape.”
I’m asking: Why do writers paint these dragons? There are several literary tropes about eunuchs; why does the “evil eunuch” stereotype exist? How does it play out in novels? If you’re a writer, how might you change the game in your novel?
What people are saying
Check out my Feb. 13, 2019 interview by Laila Winters, my blog post “When the Person is the Message” for Book Club Babble in May 2019, and listen to my Dec. 17, 2018 interview on Episode 26, “Robot Eunuchs,” of the Stories We Tell Our Robots podcast! Painting Dragons was also mentioned on C. M. Rosens’ #VillainSleepover blog post on May 29, 2019. Keep your eye on the RambleBee book blog, as the book is on their reading list.
Great reviews on BookViral, Amazon, and Goodreads! Hundreds of free Kindle copies have been distributed to people who have requested them through scheduled giveaways. Looking forward to more reader reactions posted online!
The first book of its kind
This has been a mission-driven project of mine for nearly as long as I can remember. I had to write the book I wanted to see in the world. I’ve painstakingly gathered and analyzed information that I think will interest and help others. It’s my great pleasure to create something unique.
Finally, with the help of a fabulous publishing coach, four editors, and cover artist Andi Santagata, it came into the world in 2018.
Ask your favorite independent bookstore if they can order paperback ISBN 978-1-7329060-1-3 from IngramSpark. The ebook version is available on services like Kobo.
Other things to read about eunuchs
I’ve blogged a fair amount about eunuch representation in literature. Not all of these are “villain” tropes, so they didn’t make it into the Painting Dragons book!
Other things to read about villains
On the ritual of political scapegoating (Medium, 16 Feb 2021)
On ‘The Female’ by Paul Iselin Wellman (Medium, 2021)
The new ‘Robert Galbraith’ novel, Troubled Blood (Books Are Our Superpower, 16 Sept 2020)
Who might like Painting Dragons?
Chances are you know someone who will be intrigued. Do you know someone who…
- reads or writes historical fiction?
- studies or teaches social attitudes toward gender, sexuality, disability, or cultural representation?
- is interested in villains for use in role-playing games like D&D or comic books?