Monday, October 12, 2009

Joseph Mallozzi - The FAQ

There are always new people popping by Joe's blog and often the same questions are asked. Joe is usually polite enough to answer them repeatedly. Other times, he directs them to the Search Engine function, or if he's having a bad day, he just ignores the question and the person who asked develops a fear of abandonment, quits their job, sells their home and goes and settles in Peru to become a shepherd to some Yak.

Well Joe, your search engine sucks and Peru have asked that you cease and desist as they're quickly getting overpopulated and running out of Yaks, so here's an FAQ page for you.

Please Note: This FAQ has been answered by myself. Therefore it contains lots of paraphrasing, the odd quote and the recollections and ramblings of my blonde brain from the last 2 years I've been annoying Joe on his blog ("Only 2 years?!" I hear Joe exclaim with incredulity). So beware.

Joe, feel free to tell me to add, edit or banish any part or all of this entry at any time. It's so much easier to give a Birthday present that if you don't like, can just be deleted. Saves having to explain to the lady in the shop why the "I Like My Men To Sparkle" T-shirt wasn't the hit she thought it would be.

So here goes...

Why do you blog?
Joe has stated a number of times it's another way in which he keeps his writing skills fresh. Because writing for Stargate, creating the odd Horror Movie script, a comic book and short story aren't enough. But it could be because those people who came and installed all the bars on his windows after his house was cased didn't realise he was home at the time and is now locked inside wearing rubber ducky pyjamas and tissue boxes for slippers.

When did you start blogging?
The Joseph Mallozzi weblog started on November 21, 2006 while Joe was travelling through Hong Kong and Tokyo. Prior to that he had a blog at Gateworld.

Do you blog every day?
Indeed he does. Unless he gets kidnapped by Baron Destructo and held captive on the moon. Despite these extenuating circumstances he still did manage to create a daily blog entry, we just couldn't read it. The WiFi connection on the Lunar Surface is rather dismal.

Are comments moderated?
Yes, all comments are moderated.

Do you read all of the comments?
If we are to take Joe's word, yes. And really, that's all we've got.

Who are the dogs on your blog?
They're Joe's. Mostly. I'll explain the 'mostly' bit in a minute.

Let's introduce them in age order.
First of all, there's Jelly...

Then there's Maximus...

Followed by Bubba...

And finally, Lulu...

Ah, I mean, Lulu...

While Jelly, Bubba, Maximus and Lulu are the permanent residents of Palazzo Mallozzi, there is also the seemingly always present, Brie.

She could be described as holding the "Also Starring" title in the opening credits when these pups finally get their own sitcom. Even though she is apparently not officially a Mallozzi canine (or so we're told), Brie always seems to be around getting involved in some kind of trouble.

But as to who she belongs to, I can't help you there. Joe?

Along with the regular pup dogs there are often some cameo appearances when Joe heads off to visit his family in Montreal (consider that an answer to the question of, where does Joe's family live?).

We have Baby, the um, unique looking moggie, who is much loved by Joe's Mum.

And Felix, who seems to have sucked Baby dry of all her (?) cuteness and taken it for himself.

Following a recent observation as to the likeness of a retired greyhound and Carl Binder by blog regular Shiningwit, we may now have an explanation as to why there is such a close bond between Joe and Carl.

You know we love you right Carl?

What breed are your dogs and how old are they?
From the May 10, 2009 entry, so add 5 months to their ages (I'm lazy, what can I say):
"Jelly, Maximus, and Bubba are pugs – droopy-eared. Lulu and Brie are French bulldogs – bat ears. Jelly is 10, Maximus is 9, Bubba is 7, Lulu is almost 2, and Brie is 3 months old. Army? Yes. I plan to train them in blade work, small weapons fire, and the ancient art of karate."
Carl is a greyhound.

Who does Brie belong to?
Refer to my previous comment. No idea. Joe's not spilling. All I can give you is some references to try and work it out for yourself.

Jim from Jersey just came out and asked on May 8, 2009.
JimFromJersey writes: “So Joe, spill on Brie! Are you babysitting? Thinking about welcoming a new member to the family? Having um…doggie play-dates? What’s the scoop on that adorable little pooch?”

Answer: Let’s just say she visits a lot.
Once again, on May 9, 2009, he wasn't giving anything away.
Marsha R. writes: “Does Brie perhaps belong to someone who was in NM this week?”

Answer: No.
Here's a cryptic clue from August 6, 2009.
Fran writes: “Is Brie the newest edition to the bunch? And do they all get along with each other?”

Answer: Brie is a guest. And, yes, they do all get along. More or less.
And when pushed during Happy 1000th blog celebrations, Joe was still all tight-lipped.
"Das – Brie is what you call a frequent visitor."
So don't bother asking.

What bands do you NOT like?
Hint: Don't ask him who his favourite Beatles member is.

What shows do you NOT like?
Hint: Also, do not ask him what his favourite Friends episode is.

What do you NOT like for dessert?
Hint: Don't send him anything with fruit or mint.

How do you feel about vegetarian dishes?
Refer to the October 7, 2009 entry in which Joe, Carl, Lawren and Ashleigh visited a Vegetarian Restaurant. I'm going to defend the restaurant by saying, could you have chosen any more random dishes if you tried?! Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni is vegetarian guys! So are a lot of pizzas! Seeking out beet infused chocolate cake is just asking for trouble. By the way, the outfit you were sporting that day Joe, it suited you, so see you at the Pearl Jam concert man!

Will you read my script?
No. Ok, I'll rephrase. Sure, if your agent sends it to the studio via official channels.

Why won't you take on my ideas?
Then they'd have to pay you. Well it's that or the fact your idea to include every member of SG1, SGA, SGU, The Ori, Replicators, Wraith, Genii, Goa'uld, Tok'ra, Asgard, Jaffa and the elusive Furlings in a giant space battle involving the ships from all races and wrapping up every unresolved storyline isn't feasible within current budget and time constraints.

How do I become a writer on Stargate?
Have your agent contact their agent.

How do I get to star on Stargate?
Have your agent contact their agent. Or win a contest.

What did you study?
Joe has a Masters in English Literature (although I think he's snuck in a Marketing degree somewhere too).

How did you get started?
From December 23, 2007 mailbag:
"Answer: I got my start in animation. After querying dozens of animation studios, I was invited to forward some writing samples to one studio that was about to start production on a couple of a animated shows. They liked my samples (a Seinfeld spec and a feature), sent me the show bible, and invited me to pitch. They bought one of my pitches and so began my professional writing career. I eventually worked my way up from simply writing for animation to story-editing and development. Then, using my background in animation (where I learned to hone my craft) and armed with those live-action specs, I moved into live-action with my writing partner Paul Mullie, working on a teen comedy called Student Bodies. After work on various shows, some good, some not so good, some not even not so good (Big Wolf on Campus, Lassie, Largo Winch, The Lost World) we were invited to pitch for Stargate SG-1 (after Robert Cooper had read our spec feature – Note how important it is to have a spec script or two if you’re looking to break into the business). We pitched, sold a pitch, and a did a good enough job on our first script (Scorched Earth) to land us on staff."

Did you know there is a book in Window of Opportunity, "Latin for Novices" by Joseph Mallozzi?
I'm going to hazard a guess and say Yes, seeing as Joe was one of the people that wrote the episode.

What foods have you eaten for Weird Food Purchase of the Day?
Habanero Apple Sauce - The apple portion was almost deadly.
Preserved Bean Curd
Stappj Bitter
Squid/Fish Sauce
Balsamic Vinegar
Honey Habanero Mustard
Crazy Ice cream flavours from Japan
Pocari Sweat - Just watch it and you'll see.
Shredded Squid - I think Joe's slightly tipsy in this one.
Duck Tongue **shudder**
Durian Fruit
Crispy Fried Pig Brains
Oxtail - Guest starring the lovely Carl Binder
Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine
Pork Blood Tofu
Wheat Grass
Smoked Canned Cod Liver
Sour Prunes - Are there any other type?
Chicken Feet
Spicy Peanut Butter - Guest starring Lulu
Beef Tendon
Dehydrated Crab
Joe says this entry is shrimp. In these parts we call them Prawn Crackers. Free with every purchase of Number 28: Lemon Chicken.
Wasabi Peas
Rose Petal Soda
Water Chestnut Jelly
Ksar Pistachios

We're still waiting for the Liquor Cabinet instalment of WFPOTD. Hint, hint.

Are dog's yawns contagious?
Funny you should ask. Check out the unfunded scientific results here.
What? You expected me to post the results here? I can't do all the work. Just click on the link.

What are some of your favourite restaurants in Vancouver?
Fuel... No, I'm not putting all the links to every mention of Fuel. I'll be here until your Birthday next year.
La Quercia
I know I've forgotten one here so instead I'll just do a link to your Feb 6, 2009 entry listing restaurants you recommend in Vancouver..

Who is that on your banner?
It's Maximus - Lord of Looking Cosy.

What email address can I contact you on?
I'm embedding it so you don't get spammed by every Canadian Pharmacy and Genuine Rollex with 2 L's seller.

How do I post a question for the mailbag?
Post your question in the comments section of the most recent day's entry.

Where do I send protest lemons/death threats/gifts of kindness?
To the studio.

The Bridge Studios
2400 Boundary Rd
Burnaby, BC V5M 3Z3, Canada

Why didn't my comment get approved?
It's either headed straight to the SPAM bin (ask Das how she manages it so often) or you've written something outright offensive (also ask Das how she manages that - just kidding D).

This from the October 4 entry as a guideline:
"Fourthly – I failed to approve a comment for the first time in a long while today. The poster started off by informing me that she had a post modded at Gateworld and was in the process of uploading her anti-SGU harangue all over the net – including, I guess, my blog. Well, not really because the rant was so obnoxious, I deleted it. Just so we’re clear (although 99.999% already know this and have been most respectful in stating your opinions)… Feel free to continue posting your comments about the SGU premiere. Liked it or loved it? Tell me why. Didn’t like it or have mixed feelings about what you saw? Would love to hear your critique. As long as you’re not a jerk about it, your comment will be approved."
Who is your writing partner?
Paul Mullie

Is it true there are words to the music of the Stargate opening credits?
Indeed there are. Click to hear them. Was that a two or three part harmony Joe?

What's with you and Joe Flanigan?
How did that question get in there?

What is Spambait?
Prior to the launch of the official Spambait blog, when Joe received an email from a Nigerian Prince or Banker looking to offload $20 million he'd respond to their request as an alter ego and post to his personal blog. This could be:
- Cookie Monster
- Agent Wexler
- Aloysius P. Hazzencockle
- Baron Destructo
- Margaret Quibble
- Norman Shuttlecock
- Percival H. Lintmuffin

It does make you wonder if it really is Joseph Mallozzi on the other end of his blog.

Where did you grow up?
Montreal, Canada, Earth, Milky Way, etc, etc, etc.

When did you start with Stargate and how did it happen?
In summary, Season Four of Stargate: SG1

From an interview at this place
"Our agent contacted the show and asked if we could pitch. He was told to send in writing samples. After they read our writing samples, we were invited to pitch. We sent in five pitches. They liked three and gave us the go-ahead to write an outline. We did. They asked us to revise it. We did. They told us to write a first draft. We did. They liked it enough to bring us on staff."

What are some of the books you recommend?
"Consider Phlebas" - Iain M. Banks
"Old Man's War" - John Scalzi
"Player of Games" - Iain M. Banks
"The Blade Itself" - Joe Abercrombie
"Before They Were Hanged" - Joe Abercrombie
"Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell" - Susanna Clarke

These were the ones you mention a fair bit. Any others you'd like to add, just let me know.

How do I participate in Book of the Month?
On the right-hand side of the window, there is a section called BOTM Club Selections.

It will note the current book selection, when it will be discussed and whether the author will be joining us for a Q&A. The discussion starts on the Monday of the week listed and Joe will let you know when he is sending off the questions to the guest author.

You will also receive a reminder (kick in the pants) prior to the discussion date to get finished reading. If you are having trouble sourcing the book, don't hesitate to ask any of the participants in the current day's comments. They're extremely helpful and can quite often point you in the right direction for getting yourself a copy.

Which authors have already participated in BOTM?
Matthew Woodring Stover - Heroes Die
Jasper Fforde - The Big Over Easy
Elizabeth Moon - The Speed of Dark
James Enge - Blood of Ambrose
Michael Moorcock - Elric: The Stealer of Souls
Conrad Williams - The Unblemished
Jonathan Carroll - The Land of Laughs
Michael A. Burstein - I Remember the Future
Ellen Datlow - 19 New Tales Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe
Brian Michael Bendis - Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl - I can't find it!
Nancy Cress - Dogs
Mark J. Ferrari - The Book of Joby
David Louis Edelman - Infoquake
J. J. Adams - The Living Dead Zombie Anthology
Jeff Vandermeer - City of Saints and Madmen
David Weber - On Basilisk Station
Brian Lumley - Necroscope
David Anthony Durham - Acacia
John Twelve Hawks - The Traveler
Glen Cook - The Black Company
Sarah Langan - The Missing
Justina Robson - Keeping It Real
Stephen Dobyns - The Church of Dead Girls
Catherynne M Valente - The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden
Lois McMaster Bujold - Cordelia's Honor
Not quite an author, but still worthy of being included in this list, John Picacio
Jennifer Pelland - Unwelcome Bodies
K. J. Bishop - The Etched City
Kage Baker - In the Garden of Iden
John Scalzi - The Android's Dream
Joe Abercrombie - The Blade Itself
Jeffrey Ford - The Empire of Ice Cream
F. Paul Wilson - The Keep
Lou Anders - Fast Forward 1: Future Fiction from the Cutting Edge

Once again, if I've missed anyone, just let me know.

Who from the Stargate franchise have done guest Q&A's?
David Blue of SG:U
Brian J. Smith of SG:U
Stargate Producer John G. Lenic
Paul McGillion of SGA
Executive Producer’s Assistant - Ashleigh
Director Peter DeLuise
Stargate Art Department - Draftsman (draftsperson?) Kate Heslup
Amanda Tapping of SG1, SGA and SG:U
Stargate Playback Supervisor Krista McLean
Stargate Actor Mike Dupod
Stargate Creator/Showrunner/Executive Producer/Writer/Director and apparently Duck Smoker (?), um, who was it again, I've forgotten after all that, that's right, Robert C. Cooper
Stargate Writer and Executive Producer Paul Mullie
Ditto to what was said above for Robert C. Cooper but instead it's Brad Wright (not sure on the duck smoking bit though)
Writer/Director/Executive Producer and owner of the most hideous suit ever made, Martin Gero (if you don't want the world to see, don't post it on Twitter).

Stargate Special Effects Master Scott Stofer
Stargate Atlantis Costume Designer Val Halverson
Stargate Atlantis Stunt Co-ordinator James "Bam Bam" Bamford
Stargate Atlantis Actor and Wraith (looking not so Wraithy), Tyler McClendon
Geez Joe, how many are there?
Stargate Atlantis actor, virtual doctor and all round nice guy, Robert Picardo
Stargate Atlantis Physics Consultant and woman of PG15's dreams, Mika McKinnon
Stargate Director Will Waring
Stargate Director of Photography Jim Menard
Stargate Visual Effects Supervisor Mark Savela
Stargate Atlantis Props Master Kenny Gibbs
Stargate Director Andy Mikita

If there are any I've missed I apologise. Send me the link and I'll add it.

How do I get an invite to your Chocolate Party?
When you work it out, let me know.

Is it true that Zac Efron is a fan of Stargate?
Yes! And it's in writing here. Sorry, it's not really an FAQ for you Joe, but I'm still stunned.