I'm trying to find a contemporary crime writer who's made good writing in a colloquial style -- something along the lines of the way Elmore Leonard does, only in first person. Any suggestions? I'm not talking about colloquial in the sense of using a character voice, I mean someone who writes the way that people really talk. Anybody got any suggestions?

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I try to write as if I'm talking to a friend.
And you can read BIG MONEY for free on my character's website. I blogged a new chapter every Friday two years ago.
It seems to me that "voice" is a better word that style. Style, to me, is something that is observed from outside the text by readers and critics. Voice is when the writer is relaxed, unpretentious and using language that is native and natural to him/her. Elmore Leonard is a genius with human speech. He has grasped the poetry of it and has a terrific ear. He succeeds where James Patterson fails time after time.

Re first person: I think it should be used sparingly. It can change the pace of a book, illumine the past by making it present, and make the reader breath faster. However, books written entirely in the present tense annoy me sooner or later. This is just a personal opinion.

Summary: style is something the writer shouldn't think about. It implies an overall control of a piece that can become self conscious. Voice is the opposite: the writer should allow herself to "lose control" in order to get at nuance and unconscious material. If the writer is true to character and place, style will take care of itself.

I see this time after time with students.
I must have been asleep when I wrote this. Please ignore my remarks about present tense. The part about voice I believe to be true.
By the way, re style: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci. I guess that says it better than I did by a long shot.
Have you read Janet Evanovitch's Stephanie Plum series? They pissed me off for the most part because the protag was such a dumb, stupid, idiotic, moronic, submissive, know-it-all, know-nothing, whinger, whiner, "the world is against me" type of woman - but they might work for your purposes...


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