Today I'm headed off for my other volunteering, at my local hospital, and I'm thinking about Dr. Amy Kerr.
Stuart was already in Amy's past when I thought her up. Everything she had been through, from finding out who he was, to the trials, to the glare of suspicion turning on her and her disappearance, was already part of who she was. When we meet her, she is a woman trapped by her past with no idea how to move past it.
A big throughline of the Dark of Night series for me is how Amy escapes this mental block and finds her way back to herself. The responsibility she feels to be the one to bring Alec to justice is all tied up in her guilt that she didn't know about Stuart, her confusion and self loathing that she couldn't instantly switch off her feelings for who she thought he was, and her sense of failure in her own skills. As you know, we're continuing the story with a new, freer Amy in the Alone in the Dark series, but over the last little while, I keep catching myself wondering about who she was Before.
We've experienced bits of the relationship and marriage in her memories, but we haven't lived through it. When she looks back on those years, it's through the lens of what she now knows, but what was their day to day life like then? Were there clues that she missed -- or clues that she denied?
Around the same time, the beginnings of a medical thriller were starting to build in my head. Just over a year ago, I impulsively signed up to volunteer at my local hospital (it wasn't the only reason, but it was at least partly because the Golden Girls were hospital volunteers and I try to live my life by what would Sophia do). I thoroughly enjoy it for a lot of reasons, but one thing that kind of fascinates me is how completely out of my element I am.
I've spent my life working in the arts and -- knock on wood -- am pretty lucky healthwise. The only times I've been in hospital were being born and once after skiing drunk. Even so, I was surprisingly unprepared for just how little I have the first clue of what is going on.
I don't mean the medicine; clearly I didn't imagine I would know anything about that. I mean more generally how it all works. If I approach a doctor with a question, I guarantee it's a question for a nurse and vice versa. I have no idea where one person's job ends and the next starts; I don't even know how they know. Often, patients will ask if I know what it means that they were moved into one area as opposed to the other and I'm like... no. No, I do not. I know nothing.
Don't get me wrong, there is evidently a system. I just find it bonkers how after almost a year, the system is so completely unapparent to me.
(I'm not certain unapparent is a word but I like it and it works so it's staying).
So -- because this is how my mind works -- I started thinking about the fact that IF something were wrong, I would have no idea. There could be murder being committed and I'd merrily walk in and offer everyone a cup of tea. (I don't walk in the middle of procedures obviously, but you know what I mean!)
Or would I? Would some sixth sense pick up on something not quite right even if I didn't understand what? And what on earth would I do if it did? How would I, having attended the very prestigious medical school of Greys Anatomy, even begin to go about questioning something I thought I'd seen?
And what if I was also living in a marriage where nothing was quite as it seemed?
So that's where Death Us Do came from. And now, having spent the morning thinking about possibly murdery doctors, I'm away to the hospital...