- Where do you get the inspiration for your characters?
The inspiration comes mostly from the story itself. My heroes usually start as side characters, but slowly, as the story forms in my head, each person’s background, troubles, motivations, and fears develop and grow. When I feel the hero is ready to have his own book, then I write it.
- Where did you get the inspiration for this series?
I’ve always loved reading about hot, morally-gray men who fall hard for their women. However, I found that the books where the hot male character was not “the most beautiful man on earth” were very rare find. Don’t get me wrong, I love beautiful men, but it's nice to have some variety from time to time. I’ve also always enjoyed the book more if the characters were not perfect because they seemed more real.
- Will you write any other genres, other than Mafia?
At the moment, I’m focusing on writing Mafia and don’t have different plans. But it's not something that I've dismissed, either.
- Who is your favorite character? Male & Female
My favorite male character is Mikhail. Big, silent, and deadly is my kryptonite :D
Isabella is my favorite female character because, in Ruined Secrets, she’s the “imperfect” one. She is strong and is not afraid to fight for what she wants. But she is also selfish. She lies to Luca to get what she wants and, even though she does it out of love, it doesn’t make it okay. She knows what she’s doing is wrong, but she still does it. People often do stupid things for love. My hope is that by the time the story ends, she redeems herself in your eyes.
- What is your favorite type of character to write?
I greatly enjoy writing characters who seem to be a certain way or a particular type in the beginning, but as the story unfolds, you realize that the first impressions are not always what they appear to be.
- Will you ever do book signings?
I hope so! But probably not until 2024. It’s hard to plan and organize such things when you have a regular job and two small kids.
- Will you have an online shop to purchase signed copies of the books and swag?
Because of the logistics involved and the time required to set up and run this type of store, I don’t have one right now and I’m not sure if there will be one in the future. However, every so often, I give away signed copies of my books in my Facebook reader group (“Neva Altaj’s Perfectly Imperfect Readers”). Also, every couple of months, I run promotions where you can sign up for a chance to receive signed bookplates that you can add to the books you can purchase on Amazon.
- Who are your top five authors to read?
While I write contemporary romance, my favorite genre to read is paranormal romance. My top five favorite authors are Nalini Singh, Patricia Briggs, Kresley Cole, Karen Marie Moning, and Ilona Andrews.
- What are your top 5 favorite books?
Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
Alpha & Omega Series by Patricia Briggs
The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole
Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews
- Do you plan to have a main female character of color?
The Perfectly Imperfect series focuses mostly on characters who are of Italian or Russian descent. If, at some point in the future, the story takes me in the direction that makes it possible to introduce a character of color, then yes, absolutely.
- How long does it normally take you to write a book?
That depends mostly on what is happening in my life at the time. I usually write during the night, since having a regular job and kids don’t leave much free time for writing during the day. As such, the writing process is not as fast as I’d like it to be. I would say that it typically takes me approximately three months to finish a draft of the book. Then, it takes about six to nine weeks for editing, another two weeks for proofreading, and a couple of more weeks to complete the formatting before the book can be published.
The reason I was able to release the first five books in the series so close together is that I had all five books written before I published the first. All that needed to be completed was the editing, so that allowed me to move swiftly with the release of books one through five. For future books, there will be 3-4 months between releases.
- What does your writing process look like?
I don’t plot my books in advance. I don’t create the story outline or make character notes. I tried that and it didn’t work for me. When I start a new book, I usually have the main conflict in mind and the idea for the prologue. Once I start writing, I go where the story takes me. For me, writing is very similar to reading—I often have no clue what will happen next.
- Will we get the second generation of the Perfectly Imperfect world?
There is no solid plan for that right now, but it’s a possibility.
- Will Nino/Arturo/Damian/Kostya/Angelo get their own stories?
At the moment, I haven’t decided. Some may end up having their story told down the line.
- Will you ever write a reverse age gap?
If the story develops in a way where that becomes a possibility, then yes.
- What couple did you struggle to write the most?
That would be Pasha and Asya because of the delicate subject matter included in their book. I wanted the story to be portrayed well and realistically, without diminishing the struggles both of them went through.
- What character(s) do you relate to most?
Milene. I also happen to be a cat lady.
- How do you name your characters?
I usually google baby names and pick the ones I like. In some cases, however, I’ve asked my readers to provide suggestions. I did this for Riggs (the cat) and Ravenna (the FMC in Burned Dreams).
- How many books will there be in the series?
I don’t know. As long as I continue to be inspired by the Perfectly Imperfect world, and as long as there are readers who want to read about it, I’ll keep writing.
- What made you decide to write Mafia romance?
Morally-gray male characters are my favorite, so Mafia romance felt like the best choice to deliver that.
- Do you have a favorite book from the series?
Stolen Touches. I had so much fun writing that story. But Silent Dreams (Book 8) is a close second.
- I need to know more about Book 8. Release date? Characters? Tropes?
There’s no date for the release of Book 8 right now. The first draft is done and is currently with my editor. Therefore, it will be published sometime toward the end of the year. The blurb will be revealed in August.
The FMC is Asya’s sister, Sienna. Nad you’ll meet the MMC in Burned Dreams (Alessandro’s book, releasing July 27th)
- enemies to lovers,
- opposites attract,
- age gap 10+ years,
- look at her and I take your eyes out,
- arranged marriage,
- hearing impaired hero
- Will there be more bonus scenes?
Yes. I plan on writing and posting a bonus scene every couple of months.