The Deadly Disguise first novel written by Fanshawe grad and healthcare hero

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: PROVIDED BY NORA VALETTA
Fanshawe graduate Nora Valetta has completed her labour of love, The Deadly Disguise.

The Deadly Disguise is a murder mystery novel dripping with suspense that promises to take readers on an emotional journey highlighted by a variety of twists and turns. The novel also happens to be Fanshawe College respiratory therapist program graduate Nora Valetta’s first novel. The novel was released on Feb. 26.

Valetta graduated from Fanshawe in 2000, and has been working as respiratory therapist in the London area since. The lifelong Londoner and mother of two daughters has been keen on writing and exploring the arts since childhood. Writing the novel and getting it published has been very much part labour of love, part passion and part therapeutic.

“I’ve been writing poetry and short stories since I was a child. It has been a great way to express myself and I really enjoy doing it,” said Valetta. “With The Deadly Disguise I wanted to pursue writing a book while also wanting to be an example to my kids. I wanted to show them that people are multifaceted, that they are more than what you might see. I wanted to be an example to them to not give up on your dreams.”

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The novel itself will appeal to a wide range of readers.

“It really is an emotional rollercoaster. You’ll find yourself feeling sad and angry. You will be able to relate to the characters. You may find it easy to judge the characters or find yourself relating to some of them,” said Valetta. “You can also find yourself feeling sympathetic to the villain in the story. The feedback I have been getting from readers is they have ‘shed tears and experienced fear.’ There is a lot of intensity in this compact book.”

What motivated Valetta to pursue a murder mystery, suspense filled novel for her first work was her love of that genre.

“Murder mystery has always been an interest to me. I’ve always been drawn to true crime, murder and forensics. It was a natural fit for me to pursue this genre as my first novel,” said Valetta.” And with my medical background I was able to add in those extra little details that are real lived experiences for me."

It took Valetta over two years to develop the manuscript. This while working a demanding full-time job, being a full-time mom and then trying to find the time to dedicate to writing. When the manuscript was finally completed it was onto the next challenge.

“Finding a publisher was a whole other adventure,” said Valetta. “I contacted dozens of them, and I was doing all this without an agent. It made it more of a challenge to get noticed. It took almost two years of trying to get a publisher to take notice. There were countless phone calls, emails and constant following up. It was like a second full-time job.”

Fortunately for Valetta her perseverance paid off when Austin Macauley Publishers took notice, making it a five-year journey to finally get The Deadly Disguise published. All this while serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has been very intense working in the hospital this past year,” said Valetta. “Myself and colleagues have faced so many challenges during this pandemic, and it has made us stronger as a team. It really has helped put a spotlight on our respiratory therapy profession. It has shown our importance and contribution to the medical community. It has been a constant challenge to balance work life and family life and keeping those you love safe, while showing up to work to serve the community. Throughout it all we are saving people.”

The Deadly Disguise can be ordered online through Amazon, Chapters, Barnes & Noble and the publisher at