A Brief Reading Q&A with Diana Shafer of Terrific Friends!

A Brief Reading Q&A with Diana Shafer of Terrific Friends

  1. Who are your favourite writers? Jonathan Lethem, John Steinbeck…it’s difficult to choose a favorite because I feel I haven’t read enough of one’s work for them to qualify. I once read just about all of Katherine Anne Porter’s works, but she ended up not being a favorite.
  2. What are your favourite books?
    Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
    The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
    Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
    The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  3. What is your favourite genre? Contemporary Fiction and short stories, but I enjoy taking occasional fiction breaks and reading more meditative writings on food.
  4. Name your favourite dead writer(s). Carson McCullers, Raymond Carver (and of course Steinbeck).

The Terrific Friends Edgar Allan Poe Print giveaway has ended! The winner will be announced later today!

Profile: Diana Shafer of Terrific Friends

Diana Shafer is the talented artist behind Terrific Friends and sponsor of our Edgar Allan Poe Print Giveaway.

She most graciously agreed to tell us a bit more about herself, in her own words.


I live in Nampa which is twenty minutes outside of Boise, Idaho. We are a couple blocks from the historic downtown center where a tight-knit community exists. There’s a budding art scene happening here and it’s exciting to watch. It’s not a glamorous city but my husband and I chose to live here for its affordability and supportive community.

I went to school in Portland, Oregon for fashion design. We moved to Nampa after I graduated and I worked as a seamstress for a while, before I admitted I hated sewing. I ended up opening a clothing store that focused on local and handmade. Unfortunately, the timing was poor (September 2008) and the economy gave us a really tough time. We kept the shop open for five years and I think that was all because of the amazing people around here who made an effort to shop local. I’m grateful for the experience but by the time my lease was up, I knew I didn’t have enough passion left to fuel the struggle, so I closed up shop.

When I was in art school, my favorite classes were drawing and fashion illustration and I kept practicing through the years, developing my own style. My first author portrait dates back to 2008, when I was just playing around and drew Carson McCullers after reading The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. I really started getting to work on the collection in 2012 and finished it in 2013, shortly after I closed the store. Since then I’ve been selling prints on Etsy and in independent boutiques around the country. I’m working on illustrating a children’s book and a friend and I are just starting a new project focused on food and illustration. My latest work can be found under the name D.Shafer Illustration.

Aside from maintaining my Etsy shop and relationships with retailers, I spend a lot of time snuggling with my husband and two adorable dogs (a rambunctious boxer/poodle and a sleepy cocker spaniel/pug) while watching movies or listening to music. We have a close group of friends that we see regularly. I help at a community garden in the summer. There are a couple of chickens in our backyard. I listen to podcasts throughout the day. And of course, the time I’ve spent making my way through our book collection is what inspired Terrific Friends.


Thanks, Diana!

[January Giveaway] Enter to Win an Edgar Allan Poe Print by Terrific Friends [CLOSED]

Regular readers of this blog know how much I love not only dead writers, but art. I’ve wiled away many a winter’s day sipping Earl Grey tea and reading old books, when I should be writing, editing, or otherwise engaged in some more “useful” pursuit. Whether deep in work or the pages of a book, though, I’m fortunate to always be surrounded by interesting visuals: photos, prints, paintings, etc.

Many of these images are of books or dead writers, because, well, an obsession is an obsession. One of the huge perks of running A Small Press Life is being able to share some of these finds with you, my dear readers and blogging friends.

Terrific Friends by Diana Shafer is one of my favourite Etsy shops, and for good reason. Diana’s writerly portraits are fresh, intelligent, and fun. Her work has featured in several of the most popular Shopping for the Bookworm posts.

I’m excited to announce that A Small Press Life has partnered with Diana Shafer and Terrific Friends to give away a copy of one of her awesome pieces!

A lucky reader will win their very own Edgar Allan Poe print. At 8″x10″ it’s an easy-to-frame standard (American) size.

This could be yours:

EAP Print by Terrific Friends

Edgar Allan Poe Print by Terrific Friends

How to enter*: leave a comment on this thread! It’s that easy. The contest ends on 31 January at 11:59 PM EST, and is open to international residents. Please visit Diana’s shop to view more of her fantastic work.

If you’d like to learn more about the artist, you’re in luck. Check back next week for an interview with Diana Shafer.

*If you’ve won anything from us in the last 3 contests, you are not eligible to enter this one! Thank you!