Montana Public Radio

'The Small Crimes Of Tiffany Templeton' With Richard Fifield

Mar 5, 2020

Richard Fifield is a master storyteller and fierce defender of arts in Montana. In addition to being a novelist, he designs spaces for underrepresented voices to be heard. For silence to be broken. In this conversation, Richard describes his process for writing his latest young adult novel, The Small Crimes of Tiffany Templeton, a book which explodes the genre with a “rural approach that’s not condescending.” Pulling from his own life of growing up gay in small-town Montana, Richard’s messages are passionate and heartfelt. He wants the forthcoming generations to know their worth, make their voices heard, resist the common run, and burn it down.

The Small Crimes of Tiffany Templeton

To hear the full and extended conversation with Richard Fifield about his young adult novel, "The Small Crimes of Tiffany Templeton," click the link above or subscribe to our podcast.

About the Book:

The Serpent King meets Girl in Pieces in this moving and darkly funny story about a teenage girl coming of age and learning how to grieve in small-town Montana.

Tiffany Templeton is tough. She dresses exclusively in black, buys leather jackets that are several sizes too big, and never backs down from a fight. She's known in her tiny Montana town as Tough Tiff, and after her shoplifting arrest and a stint in a reform school, the nickname is here to stay.

But when she comes back home, Tiffany may not be the same old Tough Tiff that everybody remembers. Her life is different now: her mother keeps her on an even shorter leash than before, she meets with a probation officer once a month, and she's still grieving her father's recent death.

As Tiffany navigates her new life and learns who she wants to be, she must also contend with an overbearing best friend, the geriatric cast of a high-maintenance drama production, her first boyfriend, and a town full of eccentric neighbors--not to mention a dark secret she's been keeping about why the ex-football coach left town.

Richard Fifield
Credit Mike Malament

About the Author:

Richard Fifield is an author of two books, and the editor of an anthology. He currently resides in Missoula, Montana. In 2016, he released his debut novel, "The Flood Girls," from Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books. That book received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly, and chosen by Target as their book of the month in November 2016. In 2019, he edited a collection of memoirs by Montana women, entitled "We Leave The Flowers Where They Are," with proceeds benefiting arts advocacy programs for women in underserved communities. In 2020, Fifield released "The Small Crimes Of Tiffany Templeton," a YA novel from Penguin/Razorbill. According to Kirkus, Fifield "succeeds in delivering a cast of quirky, unpredictable characters and and intriguing plot." He graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with an MFA, and worked as a social worker for adults with intellectual disabilities. He currently volunteers as a creative writing teacher in the community, and spends his free time creating haute couture and doting on his beloved rescue dogs.