cjn provides david albertyn
cjn provides david albertyn

This profile over at CJN gives great detail on my background, and how some of the things that I was exposed to growing up helped shape the themes and focuses of Undercard.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

For Albertyn, blending sport and literature has been decades in the making. He started writing short stories at age six, in his native South Africa, inspired by stories his mom wrote when she was that young.


“I always thought, as a kid, it was a foregone conclusion that I’d be a bestselling author,” he recalls.


But those dreams fell by the wayside when he fell into the sporting life. His father loved competition, and would challenge his son to road and swimming races. When the family moved to Toronto in 1993, his father bought him a punching bag and hung it from the rafters of their garage. Albertyn didn’t learn any proper techniques, but he did learn to love exercise. Tennis coaching came as naturally to him as cross-training in the boxing ring.

For the full profile, feel free to visit CJN here.

podcast-upendo-books
podcast-upendo-books

This podcast interview with Njoroge Mungai is much longer than any of the interviews I’ve done to this point, and in a relaxed atmosphere with great questions, I was able to go into considerable depth on how Undercard came to be, my writing process, and how my writing career developed. It was a really enjoyable experience for me, and I think that comes across in how many jokes there were and how much I laughed.

review of undercard novel by the post millennial
review of undercard novel by the post millennial

This review of my novel, Undercard, is the kind of reception you dream of when you’re writing the book.

“Colourfully descriptive with a charm that persists throughout, Undercard brings new life to a genre of storytelling that’s popularity has seen peaks and valleys… We’ve never seen a boxing story quite like this one… But Undercard isn’t just a boxing novel; it’s a thriller, with twists and turns that will leave you breathless… When a book like Albertyn’s comes along, it reminds you why you fell in love with sport stories in the first place.”

The review by The Post Millenial is a lot longer than the previous ones and gives a much fuller picture of the book and its strengths. Worth reading if you want to learn more about the book or see how it has been received. Definitely a piece I will cherish.

pongapalooza event
pongapalooza event

So excited to be participating in this event by First Book Canada. Raising money to provide books for young people. Racquet sports, books, and social outreach, this event was made for me. You can find out more about Pongapalooza here.

globe and mail undercard review
globe and mail undercard review

The Globe and Mail reviewed Undercard along with five other thrillers in this article. What was thrilling for me was seeing my name and book in the paper. I would’ve been excited enough about that, but for the review to be so favourable, it was a special moment. “Albertyn is a writer to watch.” To see that written in Canada’s foremost newspaper was definitely a validating experience.

Here’s Margaret Cannon’s full review:

If I were to rank my favourite sports from one to 100, boxing would come in at about 512. The two men or women beating each other to a pulp is so far from my idea of entertainment that I managed to skip seeing Rocky for decades. So when I say that a mystery about boxing and boxers kept me reading intently, you know it has to be better than good. Undercard, a debut novel by Toronto author David Albertyn, is that book.


The setting is Las Vegas, and the centrepiece is a championship match at a glittering casino. The match will be broadcast live, attended by the rich and beautiful, and make fortunes for promoters and cable companies. Three local men are loosely involved: Tyron Shaw is a decorated Marine just returned after 11 years in assorted wars; Keenan Quinn is a Las Vegas cop who has just been acquitted in the death of a local black teenager; and Antoine Deco, a boxer and an ex-con.

At a family gathering to welcome him home, Tyron gets updates on his two childhood friends and old friends of his parents urge him to to lend his stature as a decorated war veteran to bolster the protests in support of his old pal. His other friend, Antoine, is on the undercard for the championship bout. Pals can get ringside seats. Tyron is urged to ask although he and Antoine haven’t been in contact. The entire story covers just 24 hours, including the the bout and the protest, and more than one murder. The action is fast, the dialogue crisp, and, while the end is a bit contrived, there’s a good tight plotline to follow. Albertyn is a writer to watch.

It was definitely exciting when I learned that I was going to be on Global’s The Morning Show. The experience reminded me of the first time going on a ski lift. My publicist and I are waiting in the wings, the broadcast cuts to commercial, and I’m led out onto the set to meet the hosts. Are you in the right spot, are you ready, doesn’t matter, the chair lift’s here, and you’re whisked away to zip down the mountain. Like skiing it was exhilarating and over very quickly. Ironically I was more nervous the following day when I watched the recording. Like the billboards, a surreal experience.

I was very grateful to be featured in Humber College’s ad campaign on university campuses across southern Ontario. These billboards promoted Humber’s School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCAPA), which includes the Humber School for Writers, where I developed Undercard. When they asked me to do a photo shoot, I was told it was for their brochure. I had no idea I was going to end up on billboards. I only found out when friends started sending me pics of my face on bus stops. It was surreal to say the least.

undercard movie rights

This is House of Anansi’s press release letting everyone know that the screen rights of Undercard were sold to the award-winning production company Shaftesbury. The release also details which publishing rights of Undercard have been sold.

Shaftesbury has acquired screen rights for Undercard the debut novel by Toronto based author David Albertyn. House of Anansi Press published Undercard earlier this month. Set over the course of twenty-four exhilarating hours, Undercard is the story of four childhood friends, now in their early thirties, unexpectedly reunited by a high-profile prizefight in a Las Vegas casino . . . and an even higher-profile murder. The deal was negotiated by Michael Levine, Chairman of Westwood Creative Artists. Publishing rights for Undercard have already sold to Dreamscape Media (World English Audio), HarperCollins Germany (German), and HarperCollins France (World French).

“Fast-paced, fearless, and psychologically astute, Undercard is at once a terrific thriller and a sharp commentary on our turbulent times.” — David Bezmozgis, author of The Free World and The Betrayers

Born in Durban, South Africa, DAVID ALBERTYN immigrated to Canada with his family when he was ten years old. Since 2005, Albertyn has been a competitive tennis player and coach. A graduate of Queen’s University and the Humber School for Writers, Albertyn lives in Toronto. Undercard is his first novel.

Here I made a list of Canadian sports books, fiction and non, that manage to combine sports with great storytelling. These books also document struggle and engage with societal issues. Exactly what I tried to do in Undercard.

interview with open book
interview with open book

I did this interview for Open Book, a website that celebrates and profiles Ontario’s literary scene. It was really fun opening up about how Undercard came to be, and my process in developing it.