Olivia Lane

Olivia Lane

Since the very early days of developing Mantis, I had a pretty clear image of Olivia Lane, one of the main characters in the novel. I close my eyes and she’s there. I often wonder who would play in a film version. I can’t quite settle on the actress. Any suggestions? My sketch above is what she looks like to me.

Below is the passage in which she makes her first appearance in the novel:

A hinge whines as the door opens slowly. A woman steps into the room. Blonde hair. Near white. A pompadour with long waves at the back. She’s wearing a square-shouldered green suit with a nipped waist and knee-length skirt. My brain freezes as I take in her face, her high, sweeping cheekbones and strong nose. Her soft cheeks and lips. It’s a level of beauty I’ve only ever seen a few times in my life. I would guess she’s a couple years younger than me, and though she seems to appear carefree at first, the muscles in her forehead are tight, strained, as if complex, furtive thoughts are whirling behind them.

Her eyes flit to me, a sky-blue assault on the senses. She gives me a little smile. Her maroon lipstick extends slightly beyond the contours of her mouth. I smile back, then, self-conscious of my staring, I look away.

Kay introduces me to Olivia Lane. She moves closer. She smells of cigarettes and perfume. Smoke and flowers.

She tells me it’s a pleasure to meet me in that clipped, fast way she has of speaking, then reaches into her white purse, pulls out a package of Camels and flicks it with her wrist. A cigarette pops halfway out. She offers it to me and I put my hand up to decline. She inserts the cigarette into a long white holder, lights it and takes a couple of quick puffs.