I’ll admit it, Die Hard has long been my favorite movie. Some might say this is a strange choice for a romance writer—but then, some might say I’m a strange romance writer generally…yeah, moving on! I’ve loved Die Hard ever since I first saw it in the cinema as a teen. I loved the wise-cracking reluctant hero. A man whose honor won’t allow him to do anything but fight for what’s right, even though he’d rather someone else was doing the fighting. I loved the complexity of the bad guy, played by the astounding Alan Rickman. I loved that all the secondary characters are unique in their own rights and memorable—how many other films can say that? But most of all, I loved the writing of the movie. It’s so densely written. There are no wasted words or scenes—from the first scene where we see John McClane’s fear of flying and realize this isn’t your usual action hero, to the last scene where Holly’s Rolex is released and left to fall from the tower in order to end the bad guy. The same Rolex that’s a symbol of her turning her back on family to follow ambition. (And yeah, I still think John should have just supported his wife and moved with her!) The point is, the movie is a tightly written, gloriously plotted, witty action ride from beginning to end.
And Red Awakening is my love letter to Die Hard.
In Red Awakening, we have a reluctant hero in Mace. He doesn’t want anything to do with the world, and thinks it should sort its own problems. But when he gets pulled into those same problems, Mace fights with honor for what’s right—although he does it with deep sarcasm. He also doesn’t do it alone, because Red Awakening is romance. So I gave him a woman who’s the other half of his personality. Where Mace considers, Keiko is reckless. Where Mace has skills, Keiko has enthusiasm. Where Mace is even-keeled, Keiko has a temper. They’re two sides of a coin. But both are honorable and brave. Willing to sacrifice themselves to do what’s right.
Just like John McClane.
In fact, I loved the movie so much that I peppered my book with Die Hard Easter Eggs for other enthusiasts to find. Here are a few, so you can keep your eyes open for them:
- Keiko spends most of her time running through CommTECH’s research facility, a sixty-eight-floor skyscraper, barefoot—just like the hero did in Die Hard. And, as in the movie, where John has to pick pieces of glass from his bare feet, underlining how vulnerable he is, there’s a scene with Keiko’s bare feet that underscores the vulnerability of both hero and heroine in Red Awakening.
- Then, there’s Mace quoting directly from the movie when he gets his hand on a gun. That one isn’t really hidden, but you can smile when you read it.
- In the movie, John’s famous shirt goes from white to mud brown and covered in blood. In Red Awakening, Keiko’s pristine dress gets chopped and torn.
- In the movie, John’s only link with help is a radio to a cop who has his own issues to overcome. In the book, Mace’s only link is to his team in a van nearby, and they’re hindered by the issues they have to deal with too.
- In the movie, John watches as someone important is sacrificed. In the book, Mace and Keiko watch as someone important loses their life.
There are lots more little Easter Eggs in the book, all twists on what happened in Die Hard, but I’ll leave them for you to find. Just, please, once you do, pop onto my Facebook page and let me know what you found. I’ll be happy to share the joy with you—as one Die Hard geek with another!