The Inspo Behind R.S.V.P.: My Interview with You're Invited Authors Jen Malone & Gail Nall + MORE!

AHHH! So excited, #Heartbreakers! In case you haven't heard, my music video for my new single "R.S.V.P." just hit YouTube! It's my 1st music video (!!!) and I couldn't be more excited to share it with you and your besties! Check it out and make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos coming soon!

"R.S.V.P." is inspired by the Simon & Schuster/Aladdin MIX You're Invited book series. You're Invited, co-written by Jen Malone & Gail Nall, follows the story of four best friends (Sadie, Becca, Vi, and Lauren) that decide to form a party planning business called 'RSVP' in their small beach town over the summer and how their business aspirations affect their friendships with each other. Each girl in You're Invited has her own unique personality and different strengths -I can definitely see a bit of myself in each of the main characters.

To help celebrate the release of the music video for "R.S.V.P.", I wanted to sit down with the series' co-authors to do an interview! But...since we all live in different areas of the country, email became my bestie for this project! Read on to get to know the authors, the inspiration behind You're Invited, what their dream birthday party would be, & how YOU can #FollowYourHeartsDream just like them!

Watch the "R.S.V.P." Music Video HERE:

Meet the You're Invited Authors: Jen Malone & Gail Nall!

About Jen:

Jen Malone writes flirty young adult travel romances with HarperCollins and fun and humorous "girl power" middle grade adventures with Simon & Schuster. Her latest novel, Follow Your Art, is a collaboration with Dreamworks Animation and Penguin Random House on a companion story to the animated film Trolls, starring Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick. Jen's other published titles include The Sleepover, the You're Invited series (with Gail Nall), At Your Service, Map to the Stars, and Wanderlost. She once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on a rock star's tour bus. These days she saves the drama for her books.

About Gail:

Gail Nall lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her family and more cats than necessary. She once drove a Zamboni, has camped in the snow in June, and almost got trampled in Paris. Gail is the author of the Aladdin/S&S middle grade novels OUT OF TUNE, BREAKING THE ICE, and the YOU'RE INVITED series (co-authored with Jen Malone), and the upcoming BEST.NIGHT.EVER. (co-authored, 8/15/17). She is also the author of the young adult novel, EXIT STAGE LEFT (Epic Reads Impulse/HarperCollins).

~~~~~ INTERVIEW TIME.....GO!!!!! ~~~~~

Kristina: Hey Jen! Hey Gail! So excited to do this interview with you - Time to introduce yourself to my #Heartbreakers & tell 'em a little bit about you!

Jen Malone: Hi #Heartbreakers-- I'm Jen and a fellow huge fan of Kristina's! I'm also an author, a world traveler, a Gryffindor, and the last person you'd want singing with you at a karaoke contest. Alongside Gail Nall, I wrote the You're Invited series that served as inspiration for Kristina's latest release, R.S.V.P. (and I could not be more giddy about that!)

Gail Nall: Hi there, #Heartbreakers! I'm Gail, and I'm so excited to be here! I have a cute five-year-old daughter and a few cats. I love writing (of course!), music of all stripes, wild outdoor places, figure skating, singing in my car, marmots, and cheese. Cheese is the best, seriously.

Kristina: Y'all are the BEST! I love getting to know you both through your posts on Facebook and Twitter (P.S. Jen LOVES hedgehogs). did you meet each other? IRL or internet best friends?

Jen: Oddly enough Gail and I began writing together before we actually met in person. We met online (as all great duos seem to these days) in the comment section of a writing blog (see, sometimes you should read the comment section!), and became fast friends through exchanging email and manuscripts for books we were working on at the time (that one of mine has never been published, but Gail's novel, EXIT STAGE LEFT, is available with HarperCollins as a $1.99 ebook-you should definitely check it out! Friends are allowed to shamelessly plug friends, I'm told.) Since then, we've actually spent several weekends together at writing conferences, and luckily we like each other just as much in person.

Gail: We've had lots of adventures on those weekends together, like almost getting lost in Manhattan and trying - and failing - to spot country music stars in Nashville. It's never boring with Jen around!

Kristina: Sounds like so much fun - I'm *totally* down for some amazing adventures with you both! I've always wondered where a great idea comes from, so what was the inspiration behind the You're Invited book series?

Jen: I actually had the initial idea for this one (hit me out of the blue one day- I wish there was a more interesting story behind that!) and approached Gail about writing it with me, because I was intrigued by the idea of co-writing, and because we have a really similar writing style and sense of humor. We used to joke that if anything happened to either one of us, the other could finish their current book and no one would know the difference! As soon as I mentioned the idea of a book about tween party planners, we both started talking over each other with ideas for directions the story could take. So while the concept was mine initially, the plot and characters were definitely a joint effort, and drew a lot from each of our (separate, obviously) summer vacations as kids. I always visited the same tiny beach community in Maine and Gail went to the same beach in North Carolina and we created Sandpiper Beach as a mix of the best things about both of them.

Kristina: How did you make the co-writing process work since you live in completely different areas of the United States?

Jen: In the same way that our friendship developed online, so did this story. We did some brainstorming over a couple epic phone calls, but then most of what we did from there was over email and then writing chapters together in one document that lived on Google Docs. It was pretty funny when we were both in there typing at once because all of a sudden the chat box would pop open and it would be Gail saying, "I seeeeeee you!"

Gail: teeheehee!

Jen: Most of the joy of co-writing for me, is moments like those. I also loved typing lines that I knew would crack her up and she's said the same.

Gail: You should've seen some of the epic conversations we'd have in the comment of that Google doc. Opening that document was the best part of the day - it was like Christmas!

Jen: When you write alone you have a kind of abstract audience in mind, but usually not a specific person. But when you co-write, you tend to write with that other person in mind, and that makes it really fun to picture them reading what you're writing.

Kristina: Did you know you'd be writing the second book in the series (You're Invited Too) before you wrote the first book? (And two follow up Qs: Was YI2 quicker/easier to write? And how soon after writing the first book did you start writing the second one?)

Jen: We did. We sold the book as a two-book series, so we began book one with the idea that we'd be back at Sandpiper Beach with these girls. That was a little bit challenging because we knew we couldn't wrap up everything too neatly, or we'd have no conflicts for the second book. But it also was really cool that we could end with a big… not cliffhanger, exactly, but definitely a tease for what's to come in book two. We had a general sense for the main plot point of YI2 before we started book one (I think we had maybe a paragraph about it at that point) but not any of the specifics. We started pretty quickly after we finished edits on the first book, because the idea was to release them fairly close together. The second book came out about nine months after the first, which sounds like a long time, but is light-speed in Publishing Time.

Gail: I have the best memory of outlining this book, chapter-by-chapter, as I drove from Louisville to Indianapolis. We spent a solid couple of hours on the phone, laying out the whole plot, while I drove.

Kristina: OMG! That's amazing, Gail! Sounds like something my Mom & I would do! Which character from You're Invited are you most like?

Jen: Definitely Sadie. I identify a lot with her need to please-in her case, her mother-in my case, pretty much everyone, and her older sister role. She's also the one who's really organized and (at least initially) the one who's the most into party planning and I definitely think I would have been really happy as a wedding planner (if it didn't mean giving up all my weekends, that is!)

Gail: This is always such a hard question, because I see bits of myself in each girl. I was always very driven, the way Lauren is. But I also love lists and organization, which is so Sadie. And then I might've kinda spent a few years being boy-crazy Becca. But I was also very into my figure skating when I was younger, which is how Vi feels about her sports. So I can't pick just one!

Kristina: Did anyone in your real life inspire the characters? (I totally feel like Ryan is like Niall Horan from One Direction & I bet Becca would L-O-V-E that! haha)

Jen: Ha! Ryan is not Niail, but I will confess I once spent a summer sharing an apartment at the beach with seven guys from Ireland-I was the only girl!-and I think Ryan was a combination of a couple of those guys. That Irish accent is yummy, I'll give them.

Kristina: One word -- Jealous. Fave moment from the series? (without giving too much away!)

Jen: Probably Becca's first kiss in YI2. She's just gotten braces on and that added this whole extra element of "OMG, how is this going to work/feel/happen?" to the drama of a first kiss. Basically, any scene with Becca. Writing someone so over-the-top is just freedom to cut loose and it was a blast! I also loved the scene where Vi has to wear the "Spanish moss and construction cone" dress-I won't give any more of that away, but it's hilarious!

Gail: I'll always laugh over the scene in the first book where Becca has to wear the pirate costume and give an island tour, yet somehow flirt with Ryan at the same time. It never fails to crack me up! I also love any scene with Bubby, but especially one toward the end of YI2 during the hurricane. I can't say much more about that one without giving anything away, but it's definitely something I'd love to see on film one day!

Kristina: I agree! I think the series would *totally* make a great movie or TV show! What has the fan reaction to You're Invited been like? (I mean you totally have a #1 fan right here!)

Jen: So great! I love doing school visits and having kids come up after to tell me which girl in the story they most identify with-and why!

Gail: I totally agree with Jen! The best moment for me so far is when a girl came to see me at a book festival just to tell me that she started a party planning business with her friends, too.

Kristina: OMG! *Cues hearts all over the place & confetti falling from thin air!* I'm so happy to be a part of this collab and had a blast writing a song inspired by your series! What an honor! I call the collab #YoureInvitedSoRSVP, which is actually a line from "R.S.V.P.", too! What's your favorite line in "R.S.V.P."?

Jen: "Bonfires, and guitars." Because that basically described my perfect night.

Gail: "I've got your back and you've got mine / for the rest of time" because that's exactly what friendship is! Being there for each other, no matter what.

(Kristina's side note in the middle of the article: Check out the "R.S.V.P." Lyrics HERE!)

Kristina: What was your 1st reaction when you heard "R.S.V.P."?

Jen: I listened to it for the first time alongside my 10 year-old daughter and I think we were only ¼ of the way in before she jumped up and started dancing! I was trying so hard to listen to the words because I was in awe of how they connected back to the story, but it was impossible to resist the music. I was up and dancing with her by the halfway mark.

Gail: I listened to it the first time while I was at the beach in North Carolina! Perfect, right? My family was there too, and I kept saying, "It's a song about our book!" And I did that funny thing where you dance while you're sitting down - I couldn't help it!

Kristina: YAY!!! You're making me blush!! What does the song remind you of or make you think of?

Jen: It makes me think of a week I spent at the Outer Banks the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school. Weirdly enough, it was with my best friend's boyfriend and his family. His parents wouldn't let him bring his girlfriend because they didn't want to have to supervise the whole time, but I was just a close friend, so it was totally fine that he brought me (I still don't know how my BFF was so cool about it, but she was the one who insisted!) There was a meteor shower and the beach at night and bonfires and guitars and good friends and it was magical. The song brings me right back to that time.

Gail: "R.S.V.P." makes me think of my very best friends from middle school and high school, and how "in the moment" we always were with everything. It reminds me of having the best time doing just the simplest things with good friends - laughing over nothing at all, teasing each other about guys we liked, and feeling as though one evening could last forever.

Kristina: As I'm sure you know, I encourage my fans to #FollowYourHeartsDream! What's your heart's dream? How do you follow your heart's dream?

Jen: My heart's dream will probably always be travel. I spent a year traveling the world- well, 42 countries of it-on my own when I was 23 and it shaped so much of who I am as a person. Even though I accomplished that goal, there are still two continents I haven't set foot on (Antarctica and South America) so I have a heart's dream to sustain me still…

Gail: I could very easily copy Jen's answer! (Minus the whole year of going around the world, anyway!) But besides traveling, my other heart's dream is definitely writing. It's so easy to say you want something soooo badly, but then not take any actual steps to actually make that happen. I'm guilty of that! So I follow my heart's dream by making sure I set aside time to write and not judging myself or my writing as I work. It's okay to make mistakes as you work toward your dream!

Kristina: What's your advice for #Heartbreakers that want to have amazing writing careers like you both have?

Jen: Be curious! There are so many new and different ways to approach a writing career (I have a friend writing scripts for video games!) and staying open to all of them can open some really interesting doors.

Gail: Read, read, read! Be brave and read things you'd never thought you'd pick up, and read as much as you can of the things you already love. It still amazes me how much I learn about the writing craft by just reading what others have written.

Time for some Fun Qs:

Kristina: The girls of RSVP Party Planning create so many fun parties for their clients - so dreamy! What's your dream birthday party?

Jen: A joint one with about twenty others who share the same birthday. I love a good party and feeling special, but I don't love being the center of attention, so this seems like it would be a good way to have the best of both worlds.

Gail: First, I'd wake up in a gorgeous cabin in the mountains somewhere and have French toast for breakfast. Then I'd spend the day hiking and just hanging out with the people I love. Then somehow I'd transport out of the mountains to a city where we'd all go dancing (and I'm a terrible dancer, but I love it so much!) and sing karoke.

Kristina: 3 fun facts about yourselves...GO!!!


  1. I've ridden a camel in the Sahara Desert
  2. I've walked a red carpet at a movie premiere alongside George Clooney
  3. I've slept in Oprah Winfrey's bed.

(Those last two are because I worked as a publicist for a movie studio. To clarify: I was wearing a headset when I walked that red carpet with George. As for Oprah, she checked out of the hotel room early and since it was a super fancy hotel suite that was all paid for already, what's a girl to do…)


  1. I got lost on the subway in Paris with my friends in high school. We kept getting on trains, hoping we were going the right direction . . . and finally, we were!
  2. My cats' names are Pumpkin, Nutmeg, and Saffron. Sometimes I call them the Spice Cats (kinda like the Spice Girls!), even though Pumpkin isn't technically a spice.
  3. I will never, ever, ever bungee jump, but I love ziplining! I haven't met a zipline I won't try - yet.

Kristina: Y'all are so cool! Now it's time to 'Debunk It!' What's the biggest misconception people have about being an author?

Jen: Probably that we're rich and famous. I think that only applies to about 1 percent of authors. Don't get me wrong, I find tons of fulfillment playing inside my head all day and I get to go to work in my pajamas, so there are lots of other payoffs… but I still need Oprah if I want that super fancy hotel suite for the night!

Gail: Yeah, what Jen said! A lot of people thought I was going to quit my day job when my first book came out. Yeah . . . nope! Still working that day job, five books later! (Although I do love my day job, so it's not such a terrible thing at all.)

Kristina: When can we expect more adventures from the BFFs of R.S.V.P. Party Planning?

Jen: There's nothing planned at the moment, but never say never! I think we could find a few more adventures for this crew if called upon. :)

Gail: We have a whole document fulllllll of ideas, just in case!

Kristina: Well I can't wait for you to get that call! ;) Where should our next stop be to promote our collab?!

Jen: I'm thinking Total TK with Carson Daily. Wait, is that not a thing anymore? Fine. Fine. I guess we could settle for headlining Madison Square Garden.

Gail: Or "Good Morning, America". I'm totally fine with that. Except I bet you have to wake up at 3 a.m. to do that, so...maybe not!

Kristina: I would be totally okay with that! *Brb* Okay, alarm set. Here's 'The Last Q' - What do you hope readers take away from the book series and our collaboration?

Jen: I hope readers can see some of themselves in the girls of RSVP but I also hope they're inspired by them-to be a better friend or to kick some butt as an entrepreneur. Maybe even to do both together!

Gail: That they can make their dreams come true! All of the RSVP girls work hard, not just for their business, but for what they want in their lives. I hope readers are inspired to reach for their own dreams!

Kristina: Thank you so much for chatting with me! I LOVE working with you both! Find out more about the #YoureInvitedSoRSVP collab below and make sure you say hi to us on social media, #Heartbreakers! #FollowYourHeartsDream!

+ Plus, SURPRISE! Click HERE to download your very own You're Invited goodies (I LOVE the party planning guide so much!)

Time for LOTS OF LINKS (!!!) xoxo

~ Follow Us and Say Hey! ~

Follow Jen Malone on Twitter and Instagram! Official Website:

Follow Gail Nall on Twitter and Facebook! Official Website:

Follow @KristinaLachaga on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, & Snapchat! Official Website:

~ Read the You're Invited book series cover to cover (again and again!) ~

Barnes and Noble: You're Invited & You're Invited Too

Amazon: You're Invited & You're Invited Too

Simon & Schuster: You're Invited (+Plus, READ the 1st chapter!!!) & You're Invited Too (+Plus, READ the 1st chapter!!!)

Order Author-Autographed Copies!

~ Sing along to "R.S.V.P." at the top of your lungs in the car, in the shower, in your room...whatever works! ~

Download and Stream "R.S.V.P." on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon, CD Baby, and more!

~ Dream come true! I L-O-V-E-D performing "R.S.V.P." in the 70th Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade in Charlotte, NC (and not just because the weather was AMAZING!) ~

Thanks for reading till the end, #Heartbreakers! #StayAMAZING & #FollowYourHeartsDream!


love, the girl with the big pink heart

Follow @KristinaLachaga on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, & Snapchat to get the daily scoop on all things "The Girl With The Big Pink Heart" ;D

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