I get asked often the how/what/when/why to do with writing and publishing.
Making stuff up has never been a problem for me, but the ideas don't come on demand...some pop in my head at the most unlikely times. Some are thought out before I write. Some are filled in after I write. The hardest part is not to be afraid of the blank page and just write because it is a lot easier to edit and fill in the gap afterwards.
This is just an extension of making up stuff, although I find it easier for two reasons. The first is that often a character suggests a name, or the name is part of the character. This can be a technical exercise but more often it is case that the name feels right. The second reason that making up a name is easy is because I've had years of practice playing computer RPG games. There are several ways and rules to follow when making up names when playing these games and these can be extended in to writing, at least as a starting point.
Thematically and plot-wise it was easy to keep it all simple. However in terms of language I made a conscious choice not to dumb down the words and go for baby/child-speak. I remember enjoying books when I was young that had unfamiliar words and cannot understand why books for children have to contain nothing but simpler words.
Any story that involves the physical and metaphorical journey of a child from the ordinary to the extra-ordinary can be said to be like all the others before it. I like to think my originality of the themes and execution set it apart from the rest.
The editing/re-writing part because it was frustrating, time-consuming, and frankly worse than the getting the first draft done. It was humbling to see all of the little (stupid) mistakes, both typographical and narrative, but I am grateful to have gone through that in order to create a better story.
Most definitely a sequel is going to happen because I loved the idea, loved the writing, and have plenty of characters ready for James to meet. It will happen and it is merely a question of when.