Dark Passages by Patrick Tumblety
Would you believe me if I told you that I interviewed a direct descendant of the late, great, Jack the Ripper himself? Granted, I don't know if the original ancestor was one hundred percent Jack. Agreed. Although I am pretty damn certain that the chap I spoke to is somehow related to one of the Ripper suspects. Patrick Tumblety is his name. And we both had a conversation, only the other day, whilst messing about in Old London Town.

Patrick Tumblety on Amazon

1) What are your own origins, Patrick? Plus what path did you take in life before you got to where you are today?   I was raised in Hamilton Square, New Jersey, until I left in 2002 for the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where I studied Film. After college I worked for a website documentary series called 'CareerTV', which culminated in a series on the Fox Business Network in 2009.

Whilst working in Philadelphia I met my wife, Kathleen, where she was earning her Master’s degree in forensic science. Together we moved to Maryland so she could work for the Department of Defense, which relocated to Dover, Delaware, our current residence.

We were married in October 2012. I currently freelance in film, writing, and photography.

Francis Tumblety.
2) How and when did you first hear the news that your ancestor, Francis Tumblety, could have been Jack the Ripper? Plus how did you take this news, and what’s your actual connection to him?   The discovery that I might be related to Francis Tumblety happened pretty closely to how I wrote it in the short story, “Something About Dr. Tumblety". I was wakened in the middle of the night by hearing my name over and over. I had left the television on the Discovery Channel before I fell asleep, and a documentary about 'Jack the Ripper' had been playing, and referenced Francis Tumblety.

The only difference is that I was a teenager at the time, and I reacted with the same kind of metaphoric paranoia as the character in my story. I was a very superstitious teenager with a lot of anxiety and depression, so the idea that I could be related to this bad person had a sort of poetic karma, as though it explained my bad luck.

As far as my research has unearthed, there have only been a few lines of Tumbletys throughout history, and even fewer that spelled the name that way. Looking back at my ancestors’ origins and whereabouts at the time, it’s very likely that I am a direct descendant of the Jack the Ripper suspect, Francis Tumblety.

3) In roll call fashion, can you tell us a bit about your written work?   In 2012, I published my first book, 'Dark Passages', on Amazon.com. 'Dark Passages' is a collection of ten short stories that I had been working on for a long time, and I wanted to get my writing out into the world.

Dark Moon DigestSince then, I have been published in print with 'Dark Moon Digest' (Issue 12), and in Word Horde’s 'Tales of Jack the Ripper', which features my short story, “Something About Dr. Tumblety”.

I have also been published in various online publications such as 'Infinity’s Kitchen' and in the upcoming August 2013 issue of 'Siren’s Call'. Furthermore, I've received an honorable mention award from Writer’s Digest for a science fiction short I had submitted.

Right now I’m finishing up more shorts, a novel, a graphic novel, and a book series.

4) Same question as above, but about your multi-media driven projects instead.   My group, 'Lonelight Films', has an independent film currently playing in indie markets, and this summer we completed another film that will hopefully gather an audience as well. We continually expand our work, and have been pitching feature-length films.

This coming year I will be in pre-production on a series of short horror/sci-fi films for online release. As a freelancer in multimedia production, I have produced, filmed, edited, written, and photographed for a number of global organizations.

Aside from film and writing, I love photography, and my work is currently displayed in various galleries across the country.

5) What theme tune taken from pop culture would you assign to your style of writing?   The first answer that comes to mind is the opening orchestral theme to Joss Whedon’s 'Angel'. It succeeds in being both haunting and hopeful, two themes I strive to weave together in my writing.

Stephen King
6) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   Stephen King. As a writer of psychological horror, what better acknowledgement for your creations is there than one of the most well-known and praised horror authors promoting your work?

7) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavor?   As long as you work hard and be honest with yourself, you can succeed in most things on life. Make sure that every day you are doing something to work toward your goal, so that every day you will be one step closer to achieving that goal.

8) What were the main obstacles you had to contend with?   I had to contend with soul-crushing depression and absolute fear. There are many distractions and detractions that can keep you from doing what you love, and from being happy. The trick is to learn how to navigate around them and find the time and energy to create.

9) If you had a personal credo, what do you think it would be?   “Love all. Serve all.” Yes. I know. It is the byline for a chain of restaurants. But it’s also my personal call to arms. To strive for absolute love and happiness and to share and bring that out in others is my lifetime goal.

So there you have it, folks. My mate Patrick in a can. When you have the time please check him out on twitter, facebook, and his own personal website. You never know, you may really dig his stuff. Just not with a knife, OK? Ha!

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