Interview with Editor Julyssa Diaz

Interview tiiiimme. Are you ready?

Let me get my cup of tea and we are good to go!

You are a literature major. Was this always an interest of yours?

Yes and no. Since I was a child, I have always loved books. I am not really sure where this passion came from. My parent’s aren’t that big lovers of literature, my father is well versed, but the love for books didn’t come from him. My earliest memories are of my grandfather doing crosswords everyday.

I’m my household, being a book-lover, I was given very little support. Yet, I always found great pleasure and comfort in stories. So when I grew up, a career in literature was given but I doubted my talent and prospects of a stable future in such a choice. So I chose to study politics at first, as to grant the wishes of my parents. I was of course miserable and dropped out of college after a year. That’s when I decided to study literature no matter what. I didn’t care of what was to come and just focused in this great passion of mine. Again, I had little to no support seeing as literature isn’t something that will get you a “steady” career. I was getting so sick and tired of the: “You study literature? Oh, what does a literature major become? An author? Are you an author?” I had to cringe my teeth too many times… I don’t consider myself an author, yet that is. I didn’t know what I could do with my major and it didn’t really scare me, I have means of maintaining myself as I find my path.

You are an editor at Yam Magazine. Could you tell the readers how you got into editing?

Out of sheer need really. Earlier, I didn’t fully understand the role of an editor. In my mind the editor was the person that controls that the written pieces are grammatically correct. I, who find myself lacking at grammar, was afraid of the role. It’s been throughout this journey with YAM that I’ve realised what it really means to be an editor. So I became an editor because my friend Amy created YAM. I was part of it from the very beginning, I saw great potential in this project and I wanted it to succeed. So I trained myself to become an editor. It has taken me an entire year to grow in to a level where I deem myself somewhat decent. I still have a long way to go. But seeing as we are still a relevantly small publication, I have room to grow. It’s been many days of trials and errors and the huge patience of Amy to guide me. She has been the one that has been a constant pillar to me.

Speaking of Yam Magazine how did you get your position there?

I got it because Amy couldn’t handle it all by herself. I wanted the position, but she was a bit wary, after I proved that I could handle it (in other words: handle WordPress) I was promoted.

I’m going to stay with the curious question I’m sure others are wanting to know. What is Yam Magazine? What can people expect to see when they visit?

YAM magazine is a platform for passionate people to share their interests. We love entertainment, we love to write about it and we want to do so without restrains. We all believe that entertainment should be shared beyond borders, that is why we put focus on sharing content from all over the world — big and small. If we love/like/are curious about something, we will write about it.

People can expect to find something they never heard off/seen before in YAM magazine. Be it an up and coming band from Jakarta, to the biggest selling musician of mainland China (that very few outside of China know off), we at YAM try to be the platform where artists can make them selves heard.

They can also expect to see a kick ass design! YAM is easy to look over and it’s pleasant on the eyes.

As an editor I know you write. Have you written any stories? Perhaps a 100k word book?

I haven’t written a book yet. I am too scared to. My inspiration comes from myself and my experiences. So I am always brutally honest when I write. Because of that, I am very afraid to write a longer story, I am too afraid what truths will slip out. It may sound a little silly, but that is what I struggle with. As of late, my fingers have been itching to type down three stories that have been floating inside my head for a while. I am gathering strength and courage to do so — I love to write and it is foolish to prohibit myself to do so.

I do write poetry as well as short stories, but as of late all my writing is for YAM. I have just started blogging there and I am finding that extremely entertaining.

Before Yam Magazine and being an editor what were you doing?

Attending collage. Joke aside, I work as a personal assistant to children and youths with disabilities. I have done so since I was 18. Today I only work part-time but I am still working with it. It’s a job that is hard for me to let go seeing as I love it so much.

What is the greatest thing you’ve gotten from working as an editor?

Getting to know the amazing people that write for YAM, they are all so lovely and devoted people. We live all over the world and we all are very different, but we find a common ground in our love for entertainment. We are geeks and we love to geek out with each other.
My copy-editor Camiele! She is a life saviour. I can care about the content and she can work on all the grammar errors. Seeing as some of our writers aren’t native English speakers (myself included) we sometimes suffer with grammar. It comes from mixing two or more languages. I often struggle because I tend to write my English as I write my Swedish and that is (according to the grammar gods) incorrect. I often doubt myself when I am editing a piece and it feels so nice to have an English major to help me along.
Another great thing that I’ve got from working as an editor is strength and faith — in my writing, my abilities to run a business, my abilities to solve problems in a innovating way and in my ability to be a leader.

Were there bumps in the road to get where you are?

There were many, all of them having to do with insecurities, discipline and greed.

The insecurities have been my doubt of being a writer, my lack of discipline has been my inability to get pieces out in time and my greediness has lead me to waste so much time: I am always in a hurry to get an article out, so I have many times published pieces that are faulty. Which has lead to embarrassing episodes as well as too much time wasted on post-editing.

I still struggle with my bumps but I am am slowly but surely overcoming them.

For those who want to be an editor, what advice could you give them?

Take your time. Don’t rush things. Look at the bigger picture, what does your publication need? If you are an online publication – what topics can you write about that will have readers find you? What can make you stand out? How can you make the readers stay, comment and then comeback for more?

Have faith in your writers and their abilities. Guide them and respect them.

Find a good copy-writer (laugh)! And always, always read your articles out loud before publishing them!

I have to say I love your tweets. Do you find that strange?

I do! My tweets are so… crazy (hahaha) I mean, I tweet about Kpop and my delusional thoughts and YAM related issues. I think I can be annoying because I write about stuff some people don’t get. But thank you for loving my tweets, it makes writing them so much more fun.

Any big plans for 2012?

Not really. 2011 was my year. I had so much fun and travelled so much. I managed to accomplish several issues that made me realise that I am capable of anything. So 2012 is all about taking that drive and push even further forward. 2012 is also about changing paths. Seeing as I am planning things for YAM that I can’t disclose right now, I will have to change many things about my personal life. So the big plans are to find stability as to be able to concentrate on the future.

I might travel to LA for the Korean Music Festival and a trip back to Seoul in on the works. Besides that, it’s all about YAM.

Do you have any current obsessions?

Besides DBSK and Kpop you mean? Haha. Korean dramas. I am losing sleep because of them. Right now I am watching “The Moon That Embraces The Sun” and it’s so good! Can’t wait to see how it will end but I am already spazzy about it.

What is the best way someone can keep in touch with you?

Via mail or twitter. I always check them first.

Final question. Would you do another interview with me?

Of course I will! Perhaps I will be the one interviewing you after you spend some time with us at YAM? I am really happy to have you aboard seeing as we were lacking in book reviewers. I will look forward to what you can contribute to us and our readers. I personally picked you so don’t let me down (laugh)!

You all can find Julyssa Diaz at Twitter or Yam Magazine


One thought on “Interview with Editor Julyssa Diaz

  1. It’s always good to get a feel for the beginnings of how people started to do what they love. For me, especially, I love seeing the process of people falling in love with writing and finding it to be their passion.

    One a different note, this is a great interview! Hella cute šŸ™‚

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