Wynn Parks was born in the southern U.S., and raised on Air Force Bases scattered from the Philippines to Turkey. Growing up as a "military brat" bred into him the love of travel that has motivated so many of his life choices, and piqued his fascination with with such famous travelers as Odysseus, Ibn Battuta, and Burton. The author put himself through college at South Dakota's Black Hills State University, and later the Iowas Writers' Workshop by working summers as Driller's Helper in the eastern Wyoming coal fields. After six months as a Dobey-Paisano Fellow at the University of Texas, he spent a winter in an Alaskan bush camp as an exploration geologist. There he managed to save enough for traveling expenses to get him to the Greek island of Paros, where he contracted to teach Creative Writing at The Aegean School of Fine Arts. Having lived in the Aegean as a boy, going to Paros felt like a homecoming. Though he forayed off-island to Europe, North Africa,and Iran,it was Paros that was his haven from the middle Seventies through the mid-Eighties. In 2010, Parks was awarded a fellowship at the Hawthornden International Writers' Retreat, south of Edinburgh, Scotland. Two of the offerings published on Smashwords, originated at the Hawthornden Castle. Several of the stories featured on Smashwords are excerpted from the author's "arabesque" novel, "Songs from Dinosaki's Jukebox". "Jukebox" grew out of the author's years in Greece and, earlier, Turkey, and his life-long sense of connection with the Aegean. The author currently lives in the United States in Blue Mountain Beach, Florida.
Barba Yianni ~Uncle Blood Suckerby Wynn Parks
Andy Alytis is an American ex-patriot living in Athens. He notes, ruefully, that all the foreign, study-abroad girlfriends he has hooked up with in Athens, have started out seeming like the girl next door, but gradually reveal themselves to be wing-nuts, and drama-queens, full of hidden phobias and twisted feelings. He's hoping to meet a good, down to earth Greek
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Andy Alytis is an American ex-patriot living in Athens. He notes, ruefully, that all the foreign, study-abroad girlfriends he has hooked up with in Athens, have started out seeming like the girl next door, but gradually reveal themselves to be wing-nuts, and drama-queens, full of hidden phobias and twisted feelings. He's hoping to meet a good, down to earth Greek girl, who will take him as he is. So, he's over the Moon about Chrysoula. Though he describes her as having a face like a porcelain doll, with a nimbus of black hair, he notes that her name is based on the Greek word for "Gold". When he meets her in Syntagma (Constitution) Square that morning, to Andy, it is like finally reaching a "city of gold"!
But before their rendezvous is finished, Chrysoula knocks all Andy's expectations into a cocked hat with the weirdest, most unsettling story he can imagine. There,at a sidewalk cafenion, in the midst of Athens' crowds and traffic, Chrysoula recounts the story of her life on Hypatia, her obscure home island. It is the story of her uncle Barba Yiannis becoming a vrycolakos; her narrow escape from him and the fire that was supposed to cleanse the family of his curse forever... But does it?
- Wynn Parks
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