Picturing The Way We Fall‘s characters

When I’m getting ready to write a new story, I often have a much easier time figuring out the characters’ personalities and voices if I can form a picture of them in my head. Some characters arrive with a distinct physical presence — I knew what Cass from Give Up the Ghost looked like before I was totally sure what her story was — or immediately bring to mind a particular actor or public figure. Others are more ephemeral, so I browse through scores of photos online until an image clicks. Either way, by the time I sit down to write, I can “see” all of the major characters.

If you’d like to find out how I “saw” some of the main characters from The Way We Fall, click on the links below to see the pictures.


The Kaelyn in my head looks a lot like actress Carmen Ejogo. She’s younger, and her hair would be un-highlighted, and she’s not actress-level pretty. But otherwise, that’s her!

See pictures of Carmen Ejogo here and here.


I’ve always pictured Tessa as looking quite a bit like actress Bonnie Wright, but I didn’t actually track down a specific photo of Wright until I was putting together this post. It was a little hard to find one that completely fit my image of Tessa. She needed bangs, and she shouldn’t be wearing a noticeable amount of make-up, and she’d look fairly serious. I’d say this one comes the closest, though my mental Tessa is a little paler and has more freckles.


My image of Gav is a composite — his face reminded me of actor Logan Lerman, but his hair was light brown and curly. Rather like Shawn Ashmore’s! Mash them together, and you pretty much have Gav.


Leo only appears in The Way We Fall in flashback, but he’s so important to Kaelyn I needed a visual impression of him. My searching brought me to actor Jang Geun Suk. I wanted to be able to see both the happy-go-lucky side of Leo and the more serious side.

That may be how I saw the characters, but I’m sure every reader pictured them differently. I’d love to know, how close were my images to what you imagined?


Picturing The Way We Fall‘s characters — 26 Comments

  1. I saw this post before I started reading, so I pretty much saw them as you’ve pictured them here. Didn’t ruin my reading at all, and I actually liked picturing them the way you do.

  2. i love the book and the ending leaving me hanging i pictured the characters differently except gav he looked kind of like the first picture to me but a little different i also read you first book give up the ghost thats what got me hooked on you writing i will definitely say you my favorite author

    • It’s totally okay with me that you pictured the characters differently. Everyone gets different impressions! πŸ™‚

      I’m glad you enjoyed both TWWF and GIVE UP THE GHOST, and very flattered to be your favorite author! I know the ending to TWWF doesn’t resolve everything, but it is just the first in the trilogy, so hopefully the next two books will answer all your questions.

  3. I pictured Leo and Gav fairly close to the people you chose. However, I always pictured Gav being blonde, since I knew someone named Gav when I was like, 6 (haha) and he was blonde. As for the rest, I pictured a little bit different, but I was wondering, what about Meredith? Haha, It’s a little weird that I’m leaving a reply now, over a year after you put up the blog, huh?

    • Not weird at all! πŸ™‚ I’m happy to hear readers’ thoughts whenever.

      It’s hard to “cast” kids because there aren’t as many actresses to choose from. I’d say Meredith most looks like Punky Brewster-era Cherie Johnson (just a little younger).

  4. I gotta say, this is pretty interesting. I pictured everyone essentially the same, except a few years younger. In particular, Gav looks way older than what I would’ve expected. (Also, I pictured his hair red, for some reason. So, yeah.) The only one that’s really similar is Leo, and to a lesser extent, Tessa. Still, this is really interesting to look at.

    • It’s hard to find pics that look right and are the exact right age! πŸ™‚ I definitely think Kaelyn would look quite a bit younger than those pics, and Gav would look more like the first pic–the second was just to show what I think his hair looks like.

  5. I absolutely loved TWWF! I was just wondering how you pictured Kaelyn’s father? I also pictured Gav almost exactly the same way as you! Can’t wait till’ I start reading the Third book!

    • Great to hear you enjoyed TWWF! To tell you the truth my mental picture of Kaelyn’s father is a little vague–he’s on the tall side, thin, and has light hair with gray mixed in. Can’t think of any actors who’d be quite right!


    • LOL, I don’t believe there’s any such thing as fangirling too hard. πŸ˜‰ I’m so glad to know you’ve enjoyed the trilogy so much! And I do in fact have another series coming out, starting with EARTH & SKY this October. I should have more information about it up on my website in the next couple months, just waiting until the cover is finalized so I can design a new section for it.

  7. I read the first book (The Way We Fall) a few years ago (probably two years, when it was first published/released) and I absolutely loved it. I didn’t know TWWF was a trilogy, so it came as a massive surprise when I searched up TWWF recently to convince mum to buy it for me so that I can read it again (I want my own copy, not the libraries..I get so protective and possessive over my book collection). I still haven’t read the sequel and conclusion to the series, but am hoping to soon because I just adored TWWF! Thank you so much for writing and creating such an amazing book (trilogy). I’m so glad there are so many people in the world entertaining my mind and the minds of others, such people truly inspire me to be like them, and I do intend to be an author one day, haha. Thank you, again.

    • So glad to hear you enjoyed TWWF, and I hope the rest of the trilogy meets your expectations! πŸ™‚ And thank you for writing to let me know–it’s always great hearing from readers. Best of luck with your own writing!

  8. I love the series! TWWF is a great book. Ive also read TLWL. My local library didnt have the last book, (TWWM) and i got so angry i filed a complaint >:( anyway, I keep reread the books waiting for the library to get the 3rd. How would you imagine Warren? I know hes not all that important to the series, but I just really want to know >.<
    I can't wait for Earth & Sky! Your books are amazing! πŸ™‚

    • Great to hear you’ve been enjoying the trilogy, and sorry your library doesn’t have TWWM in yet–hope they pick it up soon! πŸ™‚

      I have a pretty clear image of Warren in my head, but it’s hard to find a teen actor who looks right (mostly, I think, because he’s a bit of a bigger guy and the Hollywood types tend to be thin and/or muscular). After some Googling, the closest I can find is Adam Pally, obviously older than Warren, and not perfect in the face, but close, and the right build and coloring.

  9. Your books are great! I never want them to end πŸ™‚
    Here’s how I imagined the characters:

    McKenzie: Alexandria Deberry (except a little younger and not that pretty)
    Quentin: Cole Sprouse (younger and darker hair)
    Ratchel: Zendaya (darker and shorter hair)
    Kaelyn: Logan Browning (lighter skin and brown hair)
    Gav: Nick Jonas (younger and lighter hair)

    I imagined Leo and Tessa just the same πŸ˜‰

  10. These are actually pretty close! I think I like Leo with shorter hair though, and Kaelyn I actually pictured more light skinned (no racism intended) and the brown hair is about right there. Tessa I forgot was a redhead so I actually pictured her a blonde! But besides that everyone looks pretty close! Oh, and Gav I imagined with darker hair and it was straight, but to be honest these are pretty close!

  11. Hey Megan,
    I’m from Germany and I’m doing a presentation about your book.I really love itβ™₯
    I don’t know if you are going to read this because the blog entry is so old…But whatever I was wondering if you have also an concrete imagination of Drew?

  12. Hey Megan! I’m from Rio, Brazil! And I can’t breathe right now cuz I just ended reading The Way We Fall last night, and I’m totally in love with your book! Kaelyn is a strong strong girl, she gives us strength and hope in her letters to Leo but I’m not here exactly to tell about it. I’d like to say how hard it was for me to imagine an island with all that beautiful landscape of North America. You should know that our flora is totally tropical and I’ve never been out of the country, then I started to watch an american series called Harper’s Island and I think they shoot this series somewhere around Canada, but whatever! It was great! Both of them! Drew is a great character too! Like him, I’m a gay guy and I have a difficult relationship with my father. Somehow I felt portrayed in this story. And the last reason: I’m not sure that the Intrinseca (the brazilian publishing house responsible for the book here) will continue its trilogy. What is a shame! My best friend, Isadora, also fell in love with this history but unfortunately, two swallows do not make a summer. But I’ll strive to achieve the other volumes, whether in english or spanish! Many thanks for the good times that you provided for all of us! I think if I couldn’t express this gratitude in some way to you, I’d die LOL

    • Hi Caio! Great to hear from you! It’s amazing to me that my books are being read all over the world. πŸ™‚

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed THE WAY WE FALL and related to Drew. I’m sorry to hear the rest of the trilogy isn’t available in Brazil yet; I’m not sure what’s going on with the publisher there. I can tell you that there are Spanish editions of the second and third books currently available from Roca Juvenil, the publisher in Spain. They can be found on Book Depository (which does free shipping everywhere) as VIRUS (their title for THE LIVES WE LOST) and SUPERVIVIENTES (their title for THE WORLDS WE MAKE). The English versions are available there too, of course! (You can also find both the Spanish and English editions on Amazon, but I’m not sure about shipping costs to Brazil.)

      Thank you for writing to me! I hope you enjoy the rest of the trilogy just as much when you’re able to get your hands on it. πŸ™‚

  13. I have read you book and loved it I have decided to use this book in my English class using the main character Kaelyn.Can you briefly describe her personality?

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the book! I bet what your English teacher would prefer is if you gave your own description of how Kaelyn’s personality seemed to you while you were reading the book. πŸ™‚

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