The Books En Vogue Podcast

Season 1 | Episode 7: Ride Or Die x Gail-Agnes Musikavanhu

Author,  Gail-Agnes Musikavanhu is here to discuss debut novel Ride Or Die Gail-Agnes shares tips for setting the reading mood and even reenacted a favorite scene from the book with me.

Connect with  Gail-Agnes Musikavanhu: Instagram | TikTok | Twitter

Podcast Transcript:

Speaker 1 (00:01):
Give me a fearless Black female protagonist, a mysterious male adrenaline junky, and a competition of all dares in exchange for truths, and this thriller will have you on the edge of your seat wondering how much wilder can this book possibly get. This is an unforgettable adventurous read that I cannot wait to share.

Are you ready?

(((♪♫The Books en Vogue Podcast Intro ♪♫)))

Speaker 1 (00:58):
Welcome book lovers, to The Books en Vogue podcast.

This is your premiere listening experience all about immersive reading and helping avid and reluctant readers alike imagine book characters like never before.

I am your host, Kat Trinidad.

The format of the show is: I introduce a book, share tips on how you can engage your senses as you read this title, (Because… it’s one thing to be a mood reader but you get a little something extra from the story when you are a set the mood reader). And finally, I will end the show with a reimagining of my favorite scene.

Today We will discuss techniques for getting into Ride or Die, with none other than the author, Gail-Agnes Musikavanhu.

Welcome Gail-Agnes.

Speaker 2 (01:37):
Hi. Thank you so much for having me. I’m very excited to be here.

Speaker 1 (01:42):
Please tell us about the book.

Speaker 2 (01:44):
So the book, it is a mystery with some thriller elements. Really it’s multi genre because it’s romance and there’s also some humor. And the plot follows a game of dares between two characters. One is Zoe Crawford, she’s a 17 year old high schooler who’s a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and the other character we call X because the mystery is really trying to figure out who she’s playing this game of dares with. And the story also is about friendship, hence the title, ride or Die, A Friendship between Lowly and Her Two best friends, Ryan and Cairo. Her best friend Ryan is a music junkie, just like she’s an adrenaline junkie and they spend most of their time together. So the book has a playlist because each chapter in the book has a song that plays within the chapter. So the book’s meant to be read along to that playlist.

Speaker 1 (02:45):
Thank you so much for that, Gail-Agnes. Do you care to join me in a discussion of some tips for setting the reading mood?

Speaker 2 (02:52):
Oh, I’d absolutely love to.

Speaker 1 (02:54):
Okay, book lovers, I hope you have your writing utensils ready, because Class. Is. In Session.

(((♪♫5 Senses Segment Intro ♪♫)))

Speaker 1 (03:20):
So Gail-Agnes, what is the vibe? How can we engage our spirit as we read the book?

Speaker 2 (03:28):
The vibe is definitely a reckless teenagehood, so if you are older than a teenager, I would definitely say you have to get back into that mindset of being in your teenage days. And if you are a teenager, I’d say you have to romanticize the time that you’re in and really tap into that reckless teenagehood vibe.

Speaker 1 (03:49):
Okay. Okay, so what is the sound of Ride or Die? What key notes and music or nature, can set the tone as we read this novel.

Speaker 2 (03:58):
Definitely the sound of electric guitar strings, bass drums. I actually, when I set out to read to write this book, was very much inspired by what I thought to be the sound of teenagehood because when I was a child looking up to teenagers, pop rock and soft rock were the popular genres, and so those genres sound like teenagehood to me. So it’s a lot of guitar strings, bass, definitely drums. I was listening to a lot of Cage the Elephant when I wrote this book and it’s just forever. It’s definitely a ride or die book. And I also was inspired by the song Lolita, by Lana del Rey. The bridge specifically sounds very much ride or die with the drums, so it’s a weird mixture between those two songs. That would be the sound ride or die.

Speaker 1 (04:47):
Okay, so do share the aesthetics. Is there anything aside from the book as far as visuals go that can help us get into the story as we read?

Speaker 2 (04:58):
Definitely. So I would say Marino cherries because they’re very sweet and red and the book’s very red and I think that well lowly puts on a lot of lip gloss as well. That’s another aesthetic. And her lip gloss is very sweet. It’s fruit punch, definitely bright sun visuals because it’s set the end of spring, beginning of summer red cars. I actually very much liked the aesthetics that you did Kat on your Instagram when you coate as lowly. I think you got the exact vibe right? You dressed up perfectly and you had the red and you’re in a car. So yeah, I think all of the above are very much ride or Dia aesthetics.

Speaker 1 (05:42):
Thank you so much. What is the flavor? Any food or drink companions for this title?

Speaker 2 (05:48):
Definitely Marino Cherry. I think I mentioned it a few times in the book. Her favorite drink is a Shirley Temple, and then there’s also a chapter with a song called Cherry Cola in it. So cherry, very sweet cherry flavors would be the flavor of the book.

Speaker 1 (06:06):
Okay, so what is the aroma? Any smells to transport us into the pages.

Speaker 2 (06:12):
Yeah, I would follow the aesthetic and the flavor and to have a similar smell, so something sweet, sweetness, fruit punch, definitely because she’s always reapplying that fruit punch, lip gloss and so yeah, I think that would be a great aroma. Maybe some sunscreen too. Some summer smells.

Speaker 1 (06:34):
Okay, so how can we get more of the feels?

Speaker 2 (06:38):
Definitely by listening to the playlist and by revisiting your favorite music from your teen years or listening to music that you like as a teen now and by laying in the sun by the pool.

Speaker 1 (06:53):
Well there you go, book lovers. These are your recommended supplies as you read this title. If you’re able, pause and get some of these if available or simply imagine.

Because it’s time for my favorite scene!

Disclaimer: Please note that exact words, names, locations, and or scenarios mentioned in this reimagined reenactment may differ from the actual book.

(((♪♫Scene Segment Intro ♪♫)))

Speaker 1 (07:35):
“Coat Closet Confessions”

Starring Gail-Agnes Musikavanhu as “X”
& Kat Trinidad as Loli Crawford

(((♪♫Soap Opera Instrumental starts… ♪♫)))

Kat/ Loli: <<>> <<>>

“Mission accomplished”.<<>>

Just one last…

Wait, something is off.


Gail/ X: [A sharp exhale] “Hi.”

Kat/ Loli: “What the hell?”

Gail/ X: “What?”

Kat/ Loli: “Who’s that?”

Gail/ X: “I was here first.” (((pause))) “Who are you?”

Kat/ Loli: “Who am I?”

“What the hell are you doing sitting in a closet? At a party?”

Gail/ X: “I could ask you the same thing.”

“Actually, I can do you one better: what the hell are you doing stealing from someone’s jacket at a party?”

Kat/ Loli: There’s no way…
It’s way too dark…
You know what…


“to see is to be deceived.”

Gail/ X: “So . . . I didn’t just see the shadow of your hand steal something from someone’s jacket?”

Kat/ Loli: “You only see that which you interpret yourself to have seen.”

Gail/ X: <<>> <<>>


Kat/ Loli: You know what. Enough of this. I’m out of here.

Gail/ X: “Whether you’re stealing or not doesn’t matter to me at all.”

Kat/ Loli: “Oh, really?”

Gail/ X: “Sure. I’m an amenable guy. I’m more interested in why.”

Kat/ Loli: Shoot, I have to get out of here before someone comes.


“That should be something interesting for you to ponder as you continue to sit alone in this closet by yourself, like a creep.”

Where’s the freaking door?

Gail/ X: “That’s probably for the best,”

“I’m guessing the story I’ve made up in my head is far more entertaining than the truth.”

Kat/ Loli: “You think?”

Gail/ X: “I know,”

“Almost all fictional stories are better than real ones.”

Kat/ Loli: “Well that’s just not true at all,”

“It’s the real-life stories that are the most interesting.They’re the only ones that give you any reason to be shocked or entertained, because they happened. And that’s a weight no made-up thing could ever achieve.”

Gail/ X: <<>> “We’ll agree to disagree,”

Kat/ Loli: <<>> <<>> The door is here, I have the necklace in my palm. I can leave now, victorious, with plenty of time left to enjoy the party . . .

But a few seconds couldn’t hurt, right?

“Okay then,”

“Let’s hear your hypothesis.”

Gail/ X: <<>>

“I would guess that you’re stealing someone’s car keys?”

Kat/ Loli: “Really . . .”

Gail/ X: “Either that,”

“or a flash drive with top secret government information that you know your best friend has been harboring because you recently discovered she’s not really a teenager but a spy, and you caught her slipping a drive labeled Top Secret: Woolridge UFO Landing Investigation in her coat before you arrived at this party.”

Kat/ Loli: <<>> “That one’s interesting, I’ll give you that.” <<>>

Gail/ X:“Getting comfortable?”

“You sure you want to sit in a closet at a party?”

Kat/ Loli: “If there’s anything you need to know about me, Mysterious Voice, it’s that I stay wherever the fun is. And I’ve found that people—especially the ones out there—are often more boring than not.”

Gail/ X: “Huh,” <<>>

“Well. I’m glad you seem to think I’m fun.”

Kat/ Loli: <<>> “Don’t flatter yourself,”

“I’m only staying because of the mystery. Who are you anyway?”

“And why were you sitting alone in this stuffy closet?”

Gail/ X: “If the answers to those two questions are the only things keeping me interesting, I’m not telling you.”

Kat/ Loli: <<>> “Good point, Mysterious Voice in the Closet. Is it okay if I call you MV for short?”

Gail/ X: “Yes, please. Mysterious Voice in the Closet was my father.”

Kat/ Loli:<<< chuckle>>> Ewww Gross.<<>> We were just one flirtation short of turning into an overplayed cliché (teens hooking up in a closet? Shocking), and there’s absolutely nothing I hate more than a cliché.

<<>> “Okay,” <<>>

“Do you want to know the real story behind why I’m stealing this necklace?”

Gail/ X: <<>> “No,”

“I’m happy with my story. Don’t want you ruining it with the boring details.”

Kat/ Loli: “I guarantee the truth is at least on the same level of excitement as your story,”
Gail/ X: “That’s a hard thing to guarantee,”
“Especially considering the fact that as soon as you disclosed that the stolen object was a necklace, about half of my interest fell away. The magic of the mystery is gone.”

Kat/ Loli: “I’ll tell you the story and then you can be the judge.”

Gail/ X: “Okay,”<<>> “I’m all ears.”

Kat/ Loli: <<>> <<< deep breath>>>
“I made this party up this morning so I could attend it and steal back my stolen necklace.”


Gail/ X: “Wait . . . what? You threw this party? To steal a piece of jewelry?”

Kat/ Loli: “Not to steal it,”

“to take it back. I made the mistake of leaving it at my ex’s house the day I broke up with him.”

Gail/ X: “And what, you couldn’t just ask for it back?”

Kat/ Loli: “Ask for it back?” <<>> “Where’s the fun in that?”

Gail/ X: <<>>

Kat/ Loli: Ayway, “It was revenge,”

“My ex knows I love this necklace more than anything in the entire world. He also knows that the person he gave it to wouldn’t let go of it without a fight.”

Gail/ X: “Why? If the necklace was yours to begin with?”

Kat/ Loli: “She . . .”

“isn’t exactly known for her ability to listen to fairness, reason, and logic.”

Gail/ X: “So . . .”

Kat/ Loli: “Right,”

“So I came up with a last-minute plan.
This girl had mentioned that she’d only ever take the necklace off if she ever had to swim or soak, so I used this information to my advantage. I stormed up to her, pretending to be furious because I’d heard her talking about swimming, and the pool party that was happening at her boyfriend’s house that evening was supposed to be exclusive . . .”

<<>> “Jealousy and insecurity did the rest. She didn’t want to seem clueless about the party in front of her friends, so she played along.”

Gail/ X: “Man,”

“That necklace must be quite some- thing—can I see it?”

Kat/ Loli: Uhhh sure. Where’s your hand?

Gail/ X: <<>>“I didn’t think that one out too carefully… No good asking to see something in the dark. But it feels like it could be something worth a lot.”

Kat/ Loli: <<>> “Well it’s not much to look at. Just a small necklace from a friend.”

Gail/ X: I’m sure it was much bigger than that. You probably just don’t want to tell your life’s story to a stranger in a closet. So why a party?

Kat/ Loli: “Didn’t I just explain—”

Gail/ X: “I mean you could’ve stolen it back any other way. It didn’t have to be this complicated and extravagant. Why the drama?”

Kat/ Loli:<<>> “Do you go to Woolridge High?”

Gail/ X: “Unfortunately. For almost a year now. Why do you ask?”

Kat/ Loli: “Just . . . because if you knew me, you wouldn’t bother asking that question.”

Gail/ X: “Why? Who are you?”

Kat/ Loli: “Someone who lives for her next adrenaline fix, I guess.”

Gail/ X: <<>> “Really?”

Kat/ Loli: “I have a deadly illness,”<<>> “This party is just one of my daily prescribed shots.”

Gail/ X: “Sounds dangerous.”

Kat/ Loli: “Boredom is more dangerous, believe me,”

“I need peril and chaos just to get by.”

Gail/ X: <<>> <<>>
“You have a point. “Real stories take the cake. What fiction could possibly top the real-life story of a girl who threw a huge party all for a necklace?”

Kat/ Loli: <<>> <<>>

“If we’re being honest, it was really all for an important friendship—not so much a random necklace. But you know the saying: ‘Oftentimes, symbols of love become its face.’”

Gail/ X: <<>> “You read Edward North?”

Kat/ Loli: “Who?”

Gail/ X: “That quote,”

“It’s from Perfect Resistance.”

Kat/ Loli: “Oh, no,” <<< laughing>>> “I only know that quote because I see it on the wall of my favorite coffee shop every Saturday morning.”

(((loud bang on the closet door)))

How long had I been sitting in the closet?

(((bang repeated)))
(((Frances Henry’s voice-Kathy’s best friend)))

“I’ve got to go,”
((( shuffling onto my feet)))

“Great meeting you, Mysterious Voice.”

Gail/ X: “And you, Necklace Thief.”

Kat/ Loli: “No, please. It’s just Thief. Necklace Thief was my mother.”

“Good luck with your . . . shoe sniffing, or people spying or whatever the hell you’re doing in here.”

(((door handle & opening/closing door quickly)))
(((party sounds)))

Kat/ Loli: <<< sigh of relief>>>

I really am a genius! Now that my mission is accomplished, I can kick back and let loose—and what better way to let loose than to take my rightful place as the belle of the ball, dancing, flirting, singing, and posting stories to my heart’s content? But first, I have to find Ryan and Cairo.

(((dougie contest)))
Excuse me…


Wait, where’s the necklace?

The Mysterious Voice.

(((opening door)))
(((Heart pounding)))


The Mysterious Voice is no longer there. Neither is the necklace.

There was no way I’d find him again. I’d lost the necklace, forever.

Great. I’d thrown the biggest, baddest party in Woolridge Grove history, and all for nothing,

(((slamming the closet door closed)))

(((♪♫Soap Opera Instrumental stops… ♪♫)))

(((♪♫The Books en Vogue Podcast Instrumental ♪♫)))

Book. Lovers!

If you have enjoyed this sneak peek, you can get more by reading the whole book. Ride or Die is available at your local library and everywhere books are sold. And if it’s not, request it, because you deserve to read all the books that interest you!

And if you have already read Ride or Die, or are in the middle of reading it, let me know in the comments what you like to do to set the mood for reading, because I would love to hear from you! So, please leave your feedback.

Gail-Agnes, is there anything else you would like to share with the listeners?

Speaker 2 (19:29):
I would just like to plug the playlist on Spotify because I’m getting a lot of feedback from readers that they’re making their own playlist while reading the book and I wanted to let people know there’s already one. And I also want to let everyone know that I am on all social media platforms under the name Gail Agnes M

Speaker 1 (19:50):
Well there you go. Book lovers. Be sure to check out that playlist created by the Arthur. Again, thank you Gail Agnes, for joining us today.

Speaker 2 (20:00):
Thank you again for having me. This has been fun.

Speaker 1 (20:03):
And thank you book lovers for listening with peace, love, and joy. Happy reading!

(((♪♫The Books en Vogue Podcast Outro ♪♫)))

If you feel inclined to own this book, please consider buying from my bookshop. The Books en vogue Podcast receives a small commission for every purchase. Thank you.

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