Discover Hill Engineering’s Latest Insights at SEM 2024

We are one month away from the 2024 SEM Annual Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics, which means our presentation is fast approaching! Taking place in Vancouver, WA, from June 3rd through June 6th, this premier event offers an opportunity for professionals, researchers, and industry experts to come together, share insights, and explore the latest advancements in experimental mechanics.

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Fiction author RD Pires is back with a new series, The Tides That Reign

When he’s not working as a contour method analyst, R.D. Pires (or Robby, as he is known by in the office) is busy writing novels for the world to enjoy. We previously discussed writing as a long-time hobby for Robby, as well as his last novel, A Vast, Untethered Ocean. Just a few years later and he’s back with another story, the beginning of his new fantasy series, The Tides That Reign. I got to sit down with Robby and discuss these new adventures, one for his characters and one for himself as an up and coming author. <!–more–>

Camille: You have a new book coming out this summer, titled Design of Darkness, the first in your fantasy series. What can you tell us about it?

R.D. Pires: Design of Darkness is the first in a multi-point-of-view, epic fantasy series called, The Tides That Reign. The story is about people from different cultures and social status coming together to overthrow a tyrannical regime, but thematically it’s about the transient nature of power and whether there is a balance between “good” and “evil” in the universe.

Cover art for Design of Darkness, by R.D. Pires. A purple-hued cave mouth, with a bright light or star shining at the opening. Underneath it are two files of people with hooded cloaks appearing to walk towards this light.
Design of Darkness cover art

Camille: What was it like working with a publishing company for this new series? What are some big differences between this and self-publishing like you did with A Vast, Untethered Ocean?

R.D. Pires: Working with a publishing company has been a very different experience from self-publishing. With self-publishing, you’re making all the decisions yourself – editing, PR, cover art made by you or someone you hired. But with a publisher, you have a team working together to prepare the book for release. They had an artist who drew the cover, they had editors within their team, they have their own social media squad. It really becomes a collective effort getting the book out into the world, and that means you have a group of folks who are rooting for the book to succeed on both a creative and professional level.

Camille: Music seems to have played a big role in your process for Design of Darkness. Can you tell us a little more about that?

R.D. Pires: It has played a big role, and I think it’s similar to why some authors will draw sketches for characters or settings. I’m not a visual artist at all, so the music I’ve written for the story was a way to capture the tone of a character or a scene in a way other than words. The music can come from anywhere, before or after writing. One of the pieces, “The Boat and the Sea,” was composed before I’d written anything in the book, but after it was done, I had an “Aha!” moment, where I thought, “that’s the tone for this scene” – and wrote the scene with that motif in mind.

Camille: Was a fantasy series something you envisioned for yourself all along? Writing multiple books within the same world and with the same group of characters seems like a daunting task.

R.D. Pires: A massive fantasy series wasn’t something I’d envisioned before, but I’ve always enjoyed epic fantasy, so I think I should’ve known I’d end up here eventually. A series like The Tides That Reign was daunting to develop, but also incredibly exciting for me because it’s pure creation. I am constantly adding to my notes about the world and incorporating new ideas into the story even though I’ve had the plot outlined for five years now.

Congratulations on this big milestone, Robby! We can’t wait to see what else R.D. Pires comes up with in the years to come. Design of Darkness is out on June 21, 2024.