DOG-EARED COPIES: La Jolla pooch pens book


The author shuffles tenuously over to greet me in the parking lot of his La Jolla apartment building. Talrich deYorkshire doesn’t seem very enthused about this interview.

deYorkshire is a veritable J.K. Growling. His first book, a compendium of short stories called “Cur Vitae” (Latin for why life?), reveals a surprising proficiency across numerous writing styles — including haiku, courtroom drama and a detective story suggestive of Robert Parker and Dick Francis.

Once inside his apartment, deYorkshire, in a tweed jacket he seems uncomfortable wearing, settles into his favorite spot on the floor and we chat.

Actually, I chat with his roommate and publisher. Joe Guiney offers excuses as to why deYorkshire won’t answer my questions about how he began writing, why he prefers an old-timey typewriter to the computer, and whether he ever has trouble pawing the correct keys.

“He’s definitely thinking about your questions,” says Guiney, a former film projectionist and dog-walking business owner, as deYorkshire cocks his head at me. “He’s a weird little guy,” Guiney says. “He’s not lovey-dovey, you know what I mean?”

I also wanted to know how difficult it was for deYorkshire to write for characters not only from different breeds but different species. Did he learn anything about humans, for example, from writing about them?

Again, cricket noises.

By the way, Talrich deYorkshire is only the author’s pen name. Guiney tells me his roommate’s given name is Too-Tall.

I look over at the book cover again, then back at Too-Tall. Something doesn’t seem right. Too-Tall looks different than in his photo. Guiney says that he had a makeover before this book tour. “He changed his hair and had some work done on his ears, too,” he adds.

Nope. He’s got a way smaller snout and face … It’s a completely different dog! I call fake news! It was not this Yorkie who wrote the book, but an entirely different one!

Busted, Guiney admits that the original author of most of the book was a Yorkie named Tall-Tall, who lived with a friend. But he was killed by a coyote in 2015, midway through the writing process. (Rest in peace, Tall-Tall.) So Too-Tall, who is all of 2 years old, volunteered to take over and finish the book in Tall-Tall’s memory.

“But we’d like to keep that on the down-low,” Guiney says. “You know, Nancy Drew was written all by ghost-writers, OK? I don’t want to burst your bubble.”

— “Cur Vitae: The Collected Writings of Talrich deYorkshire” is available on Amazon or directly from the author, signed, at (858) 638-1550.