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.

Hill Engineering Aims For The Horizon With Expansion

Hill Engineering is ringing in 2024 with a new expansion. By incorporating a neighboring suite into our office design, Hill Engineering now occupies our entire building, positioning us for greater achievements in the future.

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2024 SEM Annual Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics

Hill Engineering will be presenting at the 2024 SEM Annual Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics in Vancouver, WA, from June 3rd through June 6th. We invite you to come see us!

This conference focuses on all areas of research and applications pertaining to experimental mechanics and has evolved to encompass the latest technologies supporting optical methods; additive & advanced manufacturing; dynamic behavior of materials; biological systems; micro-and nano mechanics; fatigue and fracture; composite and multifunctional materials; residual stress; inverse problem methodologies; thermomechanics; and time dependent materials. Hill Engineering’s presentation will include a summary of recent work related to residual stress measurement using the hole drilling method. The abstract text is presented below.

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Senior Design 2023: An automated wire preparation device

Over the years, Hill Engineering has had the opportunity to work with mechanical engineering undergraduate students at University of California, Davis, as part of their senior design capstone. The capstone pairs a group of students with a sponsor company in the industry to address a design challenge presented by the sponsor. For the 2022-23 school year, Hill Engineering submitted a project to the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department for an automated wire preparation device. This device would mainly be used by our engineers to cut “jumper wires” for a strain gage assembly, which are used for the many residual stress measurements we perform.

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Inside Hill Engineering’s Quality Control Program

In a previous post, we highlighted the steps we took to develop a Quality System that is compliant with ISO. Since then, we have successfully completed three renewal audits and are currently accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2017, the most recent revision of the standard. Part of our Quality System requirements includes the creation and maintenance of a quality control program for the various residual stress measurement techniques we perform in our laboratory. Consistently providing high quality results to our customers is something we pride ourselves in and the best way for us to assure that is through a quality control program.

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Hunting for Meteors at Caswell Memorial State Park

Nothing sums up summer quite like a good camping trip. A handful of Hill Engineering families made their way to the Stanislaus River and Caswell Memorial State Park for a weekend of nature, campfires, and s’mores.

A sunlit meandering dirt path surrounded by green trees and foliage.
Heading to the river through the lush riparian environment
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AS7045 – Residual Stress Measurement and Classification, Metallic Structural Alloy Products and Finished Parts

A new Aerospace Standard, AS7045 – Residual Stress Measurement and Classification, Metallic Structural Alloy Products and Finished Parts, was recently published by SAE International. Hill Engineering was actively involved in the development of the standard along with many of our collaborators in the aerospace industry. AS7045 offers tremendous potential to revolutionize the management of residual stress during metallic material procurement.

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We never got out of style! Hill Engineering Team Members take on the Eras Tour

The anticipation had been building for months, and finally, the day arrived. Robby, Camille, and Ryan, members of the Hill Engineering team, embarked on a journey through time as they attended the Taylor Swift Eras Tour concert in Santa Clara, California.

Robby, Camille, and Ryan hold a Taylor Swift Eras Tour tapestry while standing in front of a red brick wall.
No Cruel Summer here! Robby (left), Camille (center), and Ryan (right) take on the Eras Tour at Levi’s Stadium!
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The Big 200! – Celebrating a milestone blog post

An orange and blue banner with a large 200 printed on it.

Gather round readers!

We are very excited today because in this blog we cross an incredible milestone: our 200th post! That’s right. Since the inception of the Hill Engineering blog back in March 2016, we have published 200 times.

Let’s take a look back over the past 7 years of blogging bliss!

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