David Young was born near Hull and lives in Twickenham. Before becoming a full-time author he spent more than 25 years as a news editor, with BBC World radio and TV. His debut novel Stasi Child – the first in a series of Cold War-era crime thrillers set in East Germany – was a Top 20 paperback bestseller, and is under option to Euston Films (Minder, The Sweeney) for a planned TV series.
Crepuscular – Cats, in particular, are crepuscular, in that they’re most active at or before dawn and dusk. I love the elegant movement of felines, and this word conjures up images of their sinewy bodies creeping around in the twilight.
Crepusculum (Latin) ‘twilight, dusk,’ from creper ‘dusky’, of unknown origin.
Atavistic – I think I read this in a book once as a student, didn’t know what it meant, and so adopted it and tried to insert it in as many essays as possible. It’s a tendency to revert to ancestral type – something we’re all guilty of at times.
From Latin atavus ‘ancestor, forefather’, from at- ‘beyond’ + avus ‘grandfather’.
Schutzwall – I’ve cheated by including a German word. German has some fascinating compound nouns, which sometimes have no direct translation in English. In East Germany, the setting for my debut novel, the Schutzwall or Antifaschistischer Schutzwall (Anti-fascist Protection Rampart was the official term for the Berlin Wall.)