When creating something that's truly imaginative for readers, a place they've never been before--such as the planet of Caricanus--you can rely to a certain extent on other similar works they might have come across. Outer space adventure and wonderfully inventive planets have been shown to audiences in a very detailed way through movie and television franchises and through innumerable well-crafted science fiction books. Over time an expectation has developed of how the outer-space setting might appear.
Especially in an adventure story, you've got guns and high-tech, unreal weaponry we all wish we had here (or not, depending on who is doing the wishing, a 9-year-old boy or his parents), and numerous languages, different alien races into which writers and worldbuilders put a lot of care and attention--and, of course, a sort of social structure. Politics, usually, a way for the tensions in these worlds to come to life as expressions of what these people believe. But while Ryan and Essie has a lot of those similar tropes, areas of the planet are more ancient than futuristic. That area of the story is more like creating a fantasy world, with a mythology that goes back thousands of years and has a mystical angle.
The seven castles were supposedly built by humans who traveled through a wormhole to this planet during the time of the Earth's ancient world. Each castle is made of a different jewel, with signature features like use of water--the emerald castle is surrounded by a moat, the diamond castle has a waterfall and stream running through the center, the pearl castle is frozen, and so forth. Each one also represents something different and is structured in a different way architecturally as Ryan and Essie go through--what I guess could be called--a classic journey of discovery. The scifi part of the story is there as well, but there's an ancient feel to the planet that I think is very important.
And there will be more updates.
I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I get most of my ideas while drifting innocuously around my house and some of those ideas get into print.