Sunday, August 07, 2011

oh...em...ZEE--Zachary made the FINAL!

If this post is only semi-coherent, it's because I'm still suffering from a mixture of sleep deprivation and adrenaline overdose from yesterday morning's *literally* last-minute rally of TeamKilt, to send Shade/Shift's Zachary Moore to the YA Crush Tournament finals and raise over 800 more dollars for the Tartan Army Childrens Charity!
I. Am. Not. Kidding you.

Yes, the same Zachary Moore, 25th and last seed, who just a few weeks ago was a virtual unknown in YA HotLandia (not to be confused with Zachary's own country of Hotland). You can read how he got this far over on the blog of his advocates, Fictitious Delicious, in their series of Epic Adventures in Kilt Land:

Part One: On How Zach went from last to Fine Four (part 1)

Part Two: "BRRRR... it's chilly in here!", "Hey, is that really a pig flying?!" or How Zach got to the CHAMPIONSHIP! (part 2 of 3)

It wasn't just the fact that he won that had TeamKilt members dancing and hugging and crying on Twitter yesterday at 9am eastern. It was the way it happened.

See, I stayed up most of the night watching them rally and cheer and urge people to vote for Zachary. I kept posting snippets of SHINE (all 20 of which are listed below) to keep them entertained. But my brain was starting to break down until I could no longer do anything but stare at the manuscript with glazed eyes.

Zachary stayed close until 3am, when he started to fall behind due to the enormous rallying power of his opponents, TodsLegions, stumping for the ever-awesome reaper Tod Hudson of Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series. Team Kilt had met their hardest competition yet. Honestly, as night turned into dawn, I thought TodsLegions were unbeatable. They were so determined, so organized, and so, well, legion.

And Rachel was right there, offering amazing incentives to her amazing fans. I had to improvise with Keeley Brothers T-shirts and SHINE ARCs just to keep up. But when I finally lay down for a "nap" at 6:09am, Zachary was behind by over 600 votes.

Yet...Team Kilt was still there. Some went to bed, but others joined in from Australia, New Zealand, the Phillippines. I met readers I'd never heard from before. I had NO IDEA Zach had so many fans.

When I woke at 7:30, the scene wasn't pretty. Zachary was behind by over 700 votes (roughly 4100-4800), and Team Kilt said that the more they tweeted, the more the other team would surge. I felt their frustration, but more than that, their determination and their fighting spirit.

So I had an idea. Something that would let them go out in style, with the PRIDE that, along with patience, is Zachary's defining characteristic (the accent and kilt are nice, but they're not what make Zach Zach).

With an hour to go in voting, I announced that if Zachary got 5000 votes, WIN OR LOSE, I would still write his short story, and I would dedicate it to each TeamKilt member. By name. Like the Lord of the Rings DVDs, where every fanclub member has their name listed in the closing credits (it takes about an hour to show all of them--the entire score plays again).

This, um, had an effect. The votes started to build. At first I would refresh the page and see 5 or 10 extra votes. Then 20. Then 30. People were calling their friends and neighbors, downloading browsers they'd never heard of onto their phones and computers so they could vote again.

Even TodsLegions were kind enough to retweet my offer when I asked. I told them there was no way we could beat them (they already had 5000 at 8am, so I figured if they kept voting the way they had been, they'd be well above it by the time we hit 5K at 9am).

I swear, I wasn't trying to win. I just wanted to give something back to TeamKilt for their dedication. I owed them.

And I wanted to write Zachary's story. I owed him.

But then, like a plaid tsunami, TeamKilt hit 5000 votes around 8:56am. There was much rejoicing.

And they kept going.

And for whatever reason, TodsLegions had stopped voting with the force they'd shown all night. Maybe they were mesmerized by the onslaught of screaming, face-painted Pictish hordes coming over the hill.

But somewhere between 8:59 and 9am...Zachary took the lead and finished 58 votes ahead. And there was much rejoicing. And general freaking out. Which I wanted to stay and take part in, but my dog really had to pee.

(Meadow and the cats were so patient--normally they eat breakfast at 7:30. This was only one of many miracles that allowed this to happen.)


We get a short rest until the final round, which is this Wednesday, August 10. Voting starts at 9am eastern and goes for twenty-four hours. TeamKilt and I are already scheming lots of great prizes and incentives and fun activities, so you want to come early and stay for the show. Whoever Zachary meets, Ash or Jace, it's going to be an uphill battle.

But that's what screaming, face-painted Pictish hordes are best at.


And now, the SHINElines, in order. Eventually I'll put this in a separate post for easy linkage. As I mentioned in the last post, the one with the PG-13 shower scene teaser, I promised to tweet a snippet from SHINE every time Zachary got another 100 votes. This became impossible after a while, so I still owe you guys 32 snippets.

Anyway, here they are. In some cases the snippet was too long for one, so I combined them for a 200-vote tweet. Unless otherwise noted, the lines belong to Aura.

1. I lifted my other phone & whispered, "He's alive."

2. Hadn't they heard? Didn't they care that the world had fallen down?

3. I want to drag him away, where his mom & dad & our govts can never find him.

4. Zachary and the world ripped apart in fire and fear.

5. Dylan: "Remember on the ride here, you told us to stop you from acting like a drunk-ass fool?" Megan: "No."

6. "Is there a 'kill me, I'm stupid' sign taped to my back?"

7. Martin, on Zachary: "Not my type. I like my lads blond & dumb & emo as humanly possible."

8. Calling us "kids"? Fastest way to get our our bad side.

9. Simon: "The Irish love their ghosts." Aura: "You let that stop you?" Simon: "Officially, yes."

10. Zachary, regarding Logan: "He told me I was stupid, that if I really loved you, I should've tried harder."

11-12. The ancients must have known just how right it could be--life & love & birth & death--so they'd built Newgrange to capture & honor this union of stone & sky.

13-14. The future seemed so close, like I could reach out and grab it. I would lock it away for safekeeping. I would guard it with my life.

15. Dylan: "He asked if I could bring hot girls. I said yeah, plus my sister."

(That was the most retweeted SHINEline of the night.)

16. Gina: "Don't use my life lessons to argue for a sleepover with your boyfriend."

17. The human in me was in charge now, barely.

18. As I fell to my knees, the stars disappeared.

19. The voice bounced in my head like an iron mace, puncturing every brain cell as it passed through.

20. Zachary: "I promise, it won't matter what you wear. I won't see it. I want you now, & I'll want you then, more than anyone ever wanted anyone."

Hmm, I don't know if they're as effective all laid out in a row like that. Pretend you're reading them an hour apart.

Tuesday I'll post chapter three of "Let it Bleed," and then Wednesday is the Big Day! Wait'll you see what TeamKilt has in store for you!

If you haven't watched it already, you must check out this amazing video that Amy at Fictitious Delicious made for Zachary. It's just...perfect.

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Love you my darling Jeri. You and Zach fought a long and hard battle. It was a blast to witness. Now, get some sleep huh? ;)

Posted by: Blogger Carrie Clevenger at 8/07/2011 3:55 PM


(And yay Jeri!)

Posted by: Blogger Jodi Meadows at 8/07/2011 4:05 PM

It was an awesome battle, and I had friends laugh at me when I asked to borrow their computer to check on (and admittedly use their connection to vote again) the competition.

I still need to go through the folks who posted on the tourney that they voted and select the two winners I promised. I'm also thinking up something special for the last round. :)

Go Zach! Team Kilt, get ready! Let's show the other side what we're made of!

Posted by: Blogger Samantha Stoner at 8/07/2011 4:10 PM

Thanks, Carrie! Glad it was entertaining--I think Wednesday will top everything by a long shot. And I can't sleep now, I have to go to a concert! Zachary's two favorite bands--Frightened Rabbit and Death Cab for Cutie. *dies of happiness*

Thanks, Jodi! I wish I'd had time to start INCARNATE but I never could settle down.

Samantha, thank you SO MUCH for holding a giveaway and donating to TACC. You continue to rock like a rocking thing.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 8/07/2011 4:30 PM

I'm so psyched! I've been voting for Zach and it's so cool how far he's made it. It makes me happy to see people (haha whoops, I mean characters) like him and Ash and Tod making it so far, because in another Crush type event I was part of there were all these different categories and there were a couple of REALLY popular characters who won basically every category.

Anyway, good job to everyone who voted like mad and tweeted and everything else. =)

Posted by: Blogger Ashley @ Book Labyrinth at 8/07/2011 5:31 PM

To use a phrase I heard from a Scot once, you're so brilliant, you can be seen from space. I'm so glad for you that Zach won, and I really hope you got some new Tartan Army readers!

Posted by: Blogger Heather at 8/07/2011 10:57 PM

Oh-em-ZED, Jeri - he's Scottish, and thus won't stoop to American pronunciations ;-)

Posted by: Blogger Tez Miller at 8/07/2011 11:47 PM

As the person who was getting ready to make a post announcing the winner, I have to say #TeamKilt blew my mind!

I got up at 7:50 AM (8:50 Eastern time), saw the tally, and was so sad for Zach.

I started editing the post to say that Tod won, while I had another tab open with the match, refreshing occasionally to see the score.

Low and behold, as I started refreshing, the votes started jumping rapidly.

At 7:58 AM, I realized it was going to be too close to call immediately, so I ditched the draft I'd made saying Tod won, and replaced it with one that said the Winner would be announced soon.

That went up at 8:00 AM, and I checked the voting report to find out that our favorite scottish lad had not just won, but won by a fair amount.

I've seriously never seen anything like it.


Posted by: Blogger Brittany Howard at 8/08/2011 5:02 AM

I'm ready to vote for the next round. Go Zach. I heart you. :)
(Congrats Jeri)

Posted by: Blogger Christine Danek at 8/08/2011 7:00 AM

I have had more fun being part of the plaiun tsunami!

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 8/10/2011 12:21 PM

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