People-watching inspires local author's supernatural novel

Patrick Whitehurst/The Daily Courier<br>Paranormal fiction author Delena Epstein poses in the parking lot at the outdoor Prescott mall where she found the inspiration for her latest novel, “Homeless.” The book focuses on a young artist  and her supernatural connection with a homeless woman.

Patrick Whitehurst/The Daily Courier<br>Paranormal fiction author Delena Epstein poses in the parking lot at the outdoor Prescott mall where she found the inspiration for her latest novel, “Homeless.” The book focuses on a young artist and her supernatural connection with a homeless woman.

Paranormal fiction author Delena Epstein found an unlikely source of inspiration when it came to her recent novel. She found herself moved to write "Homeless" after waiting for her husband outside drugstore in Prescott.

"I'm a people-watcher, so I get my inspiration from people at the grocery store, at shops, and people I meet at different events," Epstein said. "I was sitting in front of Walgreen's and I saw these homeless people walk by and my first thought was, 'Where do they go at night? Where do they sleep? Where do they stay?"

From there, Epstein developed a backstory and got to work.

Epstein's novel, "Homeless," released last month, focuses on 22-year-old Chicago artist Amanda Morgan and her relationship with a homeless woman. Their tale soon turns toward the supernatural, however, Epstein said. While fictional in nature, the novel draws attention to the homeless populations across the nation.

Epstein said Prescott offers numerous sources of inspiration for writers with an eye for detail. Speaking of eyes, Epstein's are heterochromic - each a different color - which some believe carries supernatural overtones, such as the ability to tap into spiritual consciousness and traits of human enlightenment most do not share - good traits for a writer of supernatural fiction.

Epstein self-publishes her novels, using editors, cover designers and other professionals in the field to create the best product possible. "Homeless" is her fourth novel.

"I think everyone has a story to tell," Epstein said. "Self-publishing is a good idea when you're first starting out, but you have to go in with the expectations you may not sell 1,000 copies. I think writing should be about a need to write."

Epstein travels often to promote her novels at various book festivals across the country. She's attending a book fair in Oregon this summer, and will also operate a booth at Yavapai Courthouse Plaza in June to promote "Homeless" to local readers.

"Homeless" is available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Books A Million in both print and e-book form. Print editions are also available locally at the Peregrine Book Company in Prescott. For more information, visit Epstein's website at www.delenaepstein.com.

Follow reporter Patrick Whitehurst on Twitter @pwdcourier