Friday, July 18, 2008

RS Writing Services ~ Just the facts, Ma'am

The Christian mystery and suspense market continues to steadily grow. And the popularity of book clubs like Barbour’s new cozy line, Heartsong Presents: Mysteries! and Steeple Hill’s suspense line only proves the enduring interest that readers have for the genres.

Writing a suspense or mystery is often a new world for the average writer. Not many of us have backgrounds in law enforcement fields. Often we’ll get in the middle of a manuscript and realize we’re missing an essential law enforcement fact. Or, as we plot our books, we wonder, is this realistic? Would this really happen? Very often, we end up spending a lot of time and effort trying to develop contacts with overworked cops, and then we’re limited by how much time they can give to us because answering the kinds of questions we have does take time.

Glenn Rambo and Candice Speare are both published inspirational authors with a desire to see other Christian authors have access to the law enforcement information they need. That’s why they co-founded RS Writing Services.

How did RS Writing Services come about?

Glenn: Candy was helping me review and edit one of my books, and I was helping her with law enforcement facts in the books she was writing, as well as the books that she content reviews. On and off we talked about some of the law enforcement mistakes we see in the published books we read.

Candice: The idea for the business crystallized one night when I was asking Glenn some law enforcement questions for a book I was reviewing. That’s when we realized that there might be a need for writing consultants that combine law enforcement expertise and content reviewing and editing experience. He said something like, how many other writers out there need this kind of help? And how many need the kind of help you have to offer?

Why is there a need for a business like this?

Glenn: It's a place for authors who have a great story to shore up the plot and details with accurate and authentic facts even if they are writing fiction. Is there anything worse than reading a book and saying, "Umm, that can't happen" or "That is SO wrong?" We provide authors with a place to check their facts and plots so they can put out the best product available.

Candice: I’m in agreement with what Glenn said. When I read a book with unrealistic crime scenarios or law enforcement scenes, I want to toss it against the wall in frustration. And I’ll think twice before reading another book by the author.

Readers nowadays have access to all sorts of law enforcement information on television. I don’t mean shows like CSI. I mean true investigation shows like 48 Hours which follows detectives as they investigate homicides. Our readers are smart, and they’ll notice if we fudge on facts.

And I guess I have a heart to see inspirational fiction be the best out there and to see the market grow. We have some excellent authors already, but we also have some steep competition from the secular realm. I want to do everything I can, anyway I can, to see the Christian suspense and mystery genres continue to excel and surpass all the competition. That’s why I’m so excited about what Glenn and I have to offer. And the things we plan to offer in the future.

What do each of you offer the business?

Glenn: We have Candy’s knowledge of writing, editing, and the writing business. I’m able to add a ton of information and insight into the law enforcement and emergency services world. Combined, we’re able to provide beginning and seasoned writers with some great information.

Candice: Glenn’s expertise is really the backbone of RS Writing Services. He has years of experience in many facets of law enforcement, as well as emergency services. This kind of information is invaluable for the suspense and mystery writer.

How do you believe RSWS can benefit Christian writers?

Glenn: Well, our clients will instantly have two new friends who will believe in their work and pray over it.

We can give the struggling writer or the seasoned author a new perspective on things and shore up their knowledge on anything related to crime scenes, murder plots, police procedure, detective work, K9s, drugs, guns, explosives, emergency medical information, and firefighting. We'll help them take that information and infuse it into their book and review the other parts of the book to turn out a great work.

Candice: Everything Glenn said; plus, I know when I look for help with my work, I want honesty and kindness. I want to know if something I’m plotting or writing is really bad, or if it’s not going to work. Because sooner or later someone is going to tell me, and he or she might not be so nice. I like having someone working with me who will tell me the truth and then encourage me to rethink things if necessary and move on.

Oh, and here’s the best news. We have some great things planned for the future to give crime writers the kind of insider knowledge they need to write the best books possible. Keep checking our Website. It’s exciting!
Do you really get along?

Candice: First of all, we’re both committed Christians who have a desire to please the Lord in everything we do. We try to keep our priorities right: God, our families, and then everything else.

In a business partnership mutual values are important for success. For example, when Glenn tells me that business has to wait because his family needs him, that’s fine as far as I’m concerned. That goes for me, too. Business waits when family calls.

We’re both determined that our work honor the Lord, whether it’s RS Writing Services, our books, or our other jobs.

But our getting along is a funny question and something we talked about before we decided to go into business. It’s the classic tortoise and the hare. I’m the tortoise. He’s the hare. (And we all know who won that race. Ha-ha.) But seriously, we balance each other out. That’s what makes this work.

Glenn: I'm impatient. Fly by the seat of my pants. Here are the facts. Let’s go. Candy thinks things out. She’s prepared and thorough. We make a good team and bring two different worlds together to make one complete business.

Check out RS Writing Services at ,
as well as Glenn and Candice’s author Websites:


  1. You might want to correct the connection for RS addy. You've got a comma in the URL and it causes an error when you click on it :)

  2. Good morning everyone. Its a priveledge to be here!! I have the day off so I look forward to chatting!! Sorry about the website error, looking to get it fixed but check with

  3. I can vouch for Candice's expertise. She's corrected my facts more than once. ("Just the facts, ma'am!)

    God bless you both on this venture. What a great service for writers!

    Nancy Mehl

  4. Hi Mary, thanks for featuring Glenn and his amazing service! There is now no reason for anyone to fudge on their crime facts...*snort-giggle* myself included!

  5. +Candy is a great help to us all here at Spyglass (Heartsong Mysteries). I wish you well, Candace and Glenn.

  6. Okay can I ask a question?
    I killed my victim about four ways in my book Of Mice and Murder.

    So how 'dead' would you have to be before gunshot that didn't kill you, didn't bleed?

    In the end I had him be shot after death just because I wasn't sure just what the affects would be.

    And, if you shot a corpse, is that a crime?

  7. Hey, Candice popping in here. Great to see my friends. Mary, in Maryland attempting to kill a corpse is not a crime. I had to look into that for my first book. Although I would imagine someone could get creative and perhaps use an attempted murder charge or something. I don't

    The suspect person could not be charged with murder because the victim was already dead. And the suspect couldn't be charged with desecrating a corpse because the suspect thought the person was alive. That's what I was told. Perhaps Glenn has something further to say about this.

    As for the other questions, I will leave those to Glenn.

  8. Okay, I thought I'd heard of some crime involved in mutilating a corpse. ICK!

    But that has to be intentional. Okay, well I let my perp off in the book. The police pretty much just yelled at her for carrying a gun, told her to cut it out.

    I'm not ruining the book I hope. :)

  9. And yes, go try the link again. I had a comma in it, for heaven's sake. How'd I do that????

    It works now. I fixed it then tested it.

  10. Hey, Mary, Glenn may have some additional comments about the corpose thing. He'll either post here or I'll send you an e-mail later. So don't make any permanent changes yet.

  11. Bonnie **snorted & giggled** again..cracks me up everytime.

    Hey Mary..Would love to hear more of that story line and believe it or not sometimes living people don't bleed from gunshot wounds..strange but true. Keep us posted.

    I want to thank you again for featuring us and everyone who has commented. Looking forward to a great afternoon. Hey Candice...some fun hu??

  12. Welcome Glenn and Candice.

    I write historical romance, and even though it's not called Suspense or Mystery, there is a LOT of suspense in historicals. Good grief, Mary's got tons of murder and mayhem in her historicals!

    Two of the new LIH's have a mystery/murder/suspense galore.

    So, what are some tips for historical writers who want to up the ante a bit? Can many of the same plot devices that we use in RS and Mysteries work just as well in 1880's Wyoming? Just throw anything out there for discussion.

  13. Hey Pam... I would think you have even more liberties with some of the historical stuff. It is fiction so a whole LOT of things could happen in Wyoming that no one knew of or very few knew about. You could have fun with that. The good thing is anatomy and physics were still the Ballistics were horrible in that era if you went that direction for a crime. Of course medicine wasn't all that good either. With that thought scorned lovers with firearms were good for scaring people but it would be a good reason not to have anyone I'll think some more about this and get back on later. Hope it helped a little.

  14. I remember watching some historical movie about fingerprints. All these police officers were manually comparing the fingerprint they'd found at the scene of a crime with thousands of prints they had on file.

    Can you imagine?
    they were holding up the unknown criminal's fingerprint and comparing it with the ones on file. I think they might have had some subcategories, like double whorls, stuff that was distinctive, to break up the prints and reduce the number of possible matches before they even started.

  15. Hey Mary I've had two cases where we had to Manually compare fingerprints...Its mind numbing and eye crossing..I couldn't IMAGINE them doing it back then. And thats when they didn't have good ink, good paper, powerful optics...glad I didn't work then...LOL

  16. I would think plot devices for historical mysteries would be the same as for contemporaries. And like Glenn said, so much easier in some ways.

    You have to come up with a murder plot. The murderer and his/her motive. Add the rest of the cast of characters. Is it a suspense, mystery, cozy, whatever? Add twists and turns.

    I guess besides having to know all the historical time period stuff, the only big issue would be to know what kinds of things weren't available during that specific time period to the detective or police officer. That would take a little research. Like, for instance, knowing exactly when fingerprinting became a viable crime fighting tool.

    For instance, poison. Someone with a knowledge of herbs in the 1880s could easily kill someone by giving them a heart attack with foxglove. Who'd be the wiser? Especially if the victim already had heart issues.

    And knife wounds? Nowadays forensics can match a knife to the wound. Not so way back when. Just get rid of the knife.

    Of course, suspects were handled differently back then, too. A suspect didn't have the protection that suspects have now and could easily be strung up by the townspeople without anybody questioning it.

    So, given the way my mind works, that right there leads to a whole idea for a mystery plot. Someone poisoned. Finger of suspicion on one suspect who is actually innocent.

    But that person is tried, convicted and put to death.

    Then a relative of the person wrongly convicted finds out who really did it and takes revenge. . .

  17. And speaking of historical mystery, I've been watching a mystery series on PBS set in England during WWII. It's called Foyle's War.

    The mystery in the last program was two-fold. One of them was the question of why two women were struck down with a strange, deadly disease. Turns out it was biological warefare run amuck. The thing that surprised me was the poison--anthrax. I was surprised because I didn't know that anthrax was being researched at that time as a biological weapon. Of course, that's assuming it was, and it wasn't just something made up for television. Anyway, I found it fascinating. And it made me want to do some studying up on biological warefare.

  18. Glenn and Candace, glad you're visiting Seekerville today. RS Writing Services is a great idea! It's awesome that you pray over your clients' work. I'm impressed.

    I have a villain in Courting Miss Adelaide so there's some violence, but I haven't had the heart for it since. Maybe it's time to rethink that. :-)


  19. Hey Janet Dean, thanks for taking the time to visit. There are several ways to do violent scenes..clinical, technical, traditional (blood,guts, violence)etc. Would be glad to hear what you had if you wanted to go that route or needed help with it. Not that I have the heart for, but certainly the experience with it. All the best and thanks for stopping.

  20. Glenn and Candace, thanks so much for being in Seekerville today to share your expertise! I bet Mary could keep you in business. She's alway killing people off. LOL


  21. Wow, what a great service! I've bookmarked your Web site in case I need your assistance in the future. I don't write crime stories as such, but there's usually some aspect of the story that involves law enforcement. In my current WIP, I've got steroid abuse, mail tampering, and aggravated assault (actually it's more like attempted murder).

    Oh, and I've recently gotten hooked on those PBS Masterpiece Mysteries. We watched our first Foyle's War this week. It was the one about the mapmaker and the German priest.

  22. Oh, Missy, You are so right. Mary does like to kill people off. However, the best way to protect yourself--if you happen to be around her when she's in a homicidal mood--is to carry a mouse in your pocket. Has the same effect on her that garlic has on vampires.

  23. Myra (I love that name), glad to meet a fellow Foyle's War fan. :-) Thanks for bookmarking our Website! We would love to help you anytime.

  24. I do solve all my plot lulls with's true.

    And seriously Candice, if you come near me with a mouse I cannot be held responsible for my actions.

    I mean that literally.

    Candice had already read Of Mice...and Murder.
    She kept insisting I have my policeman obey the law...welllll okay. (Pouting)

  25. Hey Myra..very interesting...Just dealt with two steroid with domestic violence (not pretty). Plenty of Agg Assaults over the years. Would love to hear more from you and anything we could do. Keep in touch. Thanks for visiting.

  26. Thanks, Glenn & Candice! I just may be in touch with more questions about my plot points.

    And thanks for stopping by my personal blog, Glenn. Hubby assured me he planned to finish the coffee before he drove off. Yeah, likely story.

  27. Thia is so totally awesome.

    Thanks for stopping by. What a great resource.

  28. Tina, Glenn and I so appreciate being here today. And thank you for your kind words.

    Hey, that flash intro on your Website is great. Kudos to your Web designer.

  29. you said earlier you solve all your lulls with gunfire...((sniff sniff)) thats a woman after my own heart...LOL Guns are my FAVORITE Keep that in mind... HEY Tina...thanks for the comment, great website....To Everyone, this has been a great experience, The Seekers are truly amazing. I've visited many of your sites, the content, the pictures...its great to see that. Not looking for a pat on the head but dealing in peoples problems everyday.. You are a great breath of fresh air to society. I again thank each of you and appreciate you all...(no southern accent I hope Candice and I can be an asset for each of you in the future.

  30. Last Post... Always want to leave on a high note...being that I'm a bass that is tough sometimes... I hear contests are big in this part of the world... First one to email me at gets a signed copy of my book Crossing the Line. You WILL love it!! Thank you Mary and everyone here at The Seekers. God Bless you all I truly thank you. Please visit me at and sign my guestbook. I'd love to hear from you. And of course please don't hestitate to reach out to RS Writing Services...we'd love to serve you.

  31. Hey, I'll add my closing to Glenn's. Thank you everyone so much for having us here. This has been a lot of fun.

  32. Thank you both so much for being here today.

    I think you're doing something really cool and interesting.

    I'm definitely keeping track of you for the next time I need to know exactly how to describe whatever mayhem I create.

  33. This service is a great idea. I wish I could find one like it for medical

  34. Hey Elaine..not sure what you may be looking for but I have over 10 years of street Emergency Medical Services experience running with an BLS squad and have seen plenty of trauma. We do have people on staff and I have everyone from Cardiac Care nurses to ER docs we can pick from. Visit RS and hit the contact form.

  35. Awesome post. The difference in how you communicate is hilarious. Very interesting service and love the pics!

    Cheryl Wyatt