Guest Post: Danielle Wrate Discusses Following Evan

Following Evan Blog Tour

Today is a Guest post from the editor of Following Evan. Danielle Wrate talks us through her experience of being the editor to Elida May’s debut novel Following Evan.

Following EvanSummary of Following Evan

Three years on from the sudden death of her husband Matt and a subsequent miscarriage, interior designer Laura is still lost in grief. She’s hiding out in the smart London townhouse that was going to be her family home. On the encouragement of her best friend Carla, she signs up to a dating website. She receives a message from a mysterious stranger, imploring her to visit him in New York because he has seen her face in his dreams.

Meanwhile, Laura visits an art gallery and is captivated by a painting of a beautiful woman in a flowing dress. It seems to be speaking directly to her, beckoning her to take a leap of faith. These seemingly disparate events lead Laura on an epic journey to the bustling streets of theBig Apple and the desert landscape of Wyoming, where the clues to her future happiness are waiting to be discovered…

Danielle’s Editorial Journey

DanielleDanielle Wrate, founder of Wrate’s Editing Services, talks about working with author Elida May, who is originally from Albania, on her first novel, Following Evan.

I first met Elida more than a year ago now, in a coffee shop in Crystal Palace, where we have met many times since. She had completed her novel in English, which was a huge challenge for her as she’s originally from Albania and English isn’t her first language, and needed help with editing.

I’ve always told Elida how much I admire her for writing in a language which she didn’t learn until she had reached adulthood. She explained that having lived in the UK for more than 20 years now, she is in the tricky position of having forgotten how to write in her mother tongue, without being fully confident with her writing in English. But here is where I was able to help. Although her work did require some heavy editing at times, as sentences had to be rejigged, I always understood what she was trying to say. The emotional world of her characters shone through. That for me is a sign of a good writer. I could tell that Elida had experienced the emotions she had written about, and her skill is in being able to convey them to the reader.

I’m so proud of Elida for her achievement, and it’s been an honour to help her publish Following Evan. As well as helping her with the editing, I’ve also assisted with the cover design, interior layout, publicity and getting the book onto Amazon as a print and Kindle edition. Since started Wrate’s Editing Services nearly three years ago now, I’ve realised that aside from editing, many authors require help with other aspects of self-publishing their book, so I now work with a team of people who can do the things that I can’t, such as creating an eye-catching cover. Elida has artist friends back in Albania who drew the main image for the cover, and my designer Ali did the rest. As someone who works constantly with words, I really enjoyed collaborating on the other creative processes involved in publishing a book, and I kept in constant touch with Elida to let her know how each stage was going.

What I’m really looking forward to now is seeing the reviews for Following Evan roll in. Meanwhile, Elida is currently working on her second novel and has asked me to edit it. She tells me it is very different from Following Evan, so I’m more than a little intrigued. In fact, I can’t wait to be the first reader of her second major work…

Danielle can be reached via email at, or via the telephone on 0208 6700 660 (between 10am and 6pm)

Elida May

Elida MayElida May was born in Albania in 1972. Growing up in a Communist country, where access to books was severely restricted, helped to nurture her love of the written word, and she avidly read whatever genre she could get hold of, including a lot of European literature. Today Elida lives in London with her son Elidon. Following Evan is her first novel, and she is currently working on her second, Diary of Michael Vica.

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