Children’s author Marianne Hering returns to the world of Imagination Station with Inferno in Tokyo (Tyndale House). Patrick and Beth must help others and survive dangers as they travel through time and space and get caught up in the 1923 earthquake, tsunami, and fire that devastated Tokyo, Japan. In this exclusive Q&A, the author shares what inspired the story’s unique setting, the research she conducted, and how she continues to find new adventures for the series…

What inspired you to set this adventure in 1923 Tokyo?

I’d been a Toyohiko Kagawa fan for some years. I wanted an exciting setting, so this book came together as Missionary Meets Massive Disaster.

What are the challenges of writing contemporary characters who travel back to a historical event like this?

The only real challenge is the research. Historical writing is difficult. And finding ways young children can interact with adults in other cultures.

What kind of research did you have to conduct for Inferno in Tokyo?

A lot. I read several books written by Kagawa. I read entire books about the earthquake. I got floor plans of the Imperial Hotel from a library.

What do you hope readers will get out of Inferno in Tokyo?

That a person of great compassion can have great influence.

The Adventures in Odyssey series–including all the extensions and spinoffs—have so many stories now. How difficult is it to find something new to write about in this world?

Not difficult at all. With each book I research, I think of several more to do! There’s a lot hidden in history that has merit and is worthy of being published.

Visit Marianne Hering’s author page

Inferno in Tokyo
Imagination Station
Marianne Hering
Tyndale House

Check out more great articles

About The Author

Marianne has written for children since 1987 when she joined the editorial staff of Focus on the Family Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. magazines. In the 1990s she wrote six children's mystery books and more than 40 Bible phonic readers (with co-author Margaret Wilber). Now a general book editor for Focus on the Family, she has turned her passion for children's fiction into developing a series for beginning readers who love adventure.