Lisa K. Stephenson of The Bronx, New York is the Owner and Chief Executive Officer of Kombination Kouture Company, a commerce through it’s many divisions and subsidiaries have begun to make its way into the lives and hearts of many.
Ms. Stephenson is a native of The Bronx, New York. As the daughter of a single parent and from a family immersed in African-American studies, she determined early on that education, independence and equal justice were important for all women and men of color. Her educational development began as a student at Monroe College of New Rochelle where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with honors. Lisa is now an author, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Professionally, Lisa owns and manages the following companies and subsidiaries, Kombination Kouture LLC, She’s SINGLE Magazine and Wilson Book Group as well as authoring and touring novels such as The Yellow Brownstone and Even My Hair Is Mad. Her latest self-help book entitled: Love Smart, Love Independently is set to release Fall 2020. In the interim, Lisa has begun conducting workshops, seminars and hosting podcasts where she delivers a powerful message to women, How to Have it All: Independence and Healthy Intimacy.
The idea of becoming an entrepreneur came to Lisa when she discovered that many women do not have the privilege of creating generational wealth for the families they raise. Lisa wishes to change this. She has also served time in the United States Army where she learned the importance of discipline, time and self-regulation.
Ms. Stephenson possesses a vast amount of experience as a leader, speaker, writer and business consultant leading numerous successful business campaigns and book tours. She has several years of active membership and involvement in many civic and community organizations. Lisa currently resides in The Bronx, New York.
- Where are you from?
I was born and partially raised in The Bronx, NY. I also spent some time growing up in both Boston and Maryland.
- Why do you write?
When I first began writing it was because I had such amazing ideas and I really wanted to get them out, now, it’s mainly to escape from my own reality. The female characters I write about, they live a life without boundaries or worry, they live a life where men cater to them and so, I am living vicariously through them.
- What do you write about?
I mainly write about women who find themselves in tumultuous relationships or unbalanced playing fields when it comes to their lives. There is always some internal conflict they need to overcome whether it is jealousy, low self-esteem, co-dependency or just lack of knowledge for particular situations they may find themselves in. However, they always bounce back, learn from their mistakes and find happiness.
- Do you have a specific writing style?
I have various writing styles since I’ve written so many different genres: narrative, creative non-fiction as found in She’s SINGLE Magazine and of course expository since I have been working on a self-help book as well entitled: [Love Smart, Love Independently] published by Wilson Book Group.
- What are obstacles that come in the way of writing?
For me personally it lands about 75% through the book where I begin working on the falling action, I tend to get bored lol. I think that’s the only part of writing I am not too fond of. I typically dislike anything that I deem predictable, like comedy movies, I do not watch because the end is always the same in a sense. So, with my falling action/resolution I try to keep it spunky otherwise to avoid that feeling of boredom. That’s one of my obstacles, another is of course writers block. I am not one to cheat my fans EVER! I once read a book where the ending was so rushed, I was so angry afterward. But I continued it because momma ain’t raise no quitter. With my novels I like to take my time even if that means I’m going to miss my deadline.
- What’s the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work?
“Why was Nova so mean to Hunter when he was a good guy that liked her?” I had to explain that my character did not reject Hunter because she deemed him unattractive or him having a dull personality, she did what I feel rightfully so many women should be doing if they ever find themselves in Nova’s shoes. Nova [Even My Hair Is Mad] made the decision NOT to rebound with hunter, she was newly divorced, trying to rebuild her life, find her independence and build a foundation for her and her son. If anything, she did Hunter a favor by not roping him into her life as she was still trying to figure things out.
- How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I was a sophomore in college. I wrote this short story [Niki] for a class assignment—it was about a 15-year-old girl who began having an affair with her father—my professor liked the story so much he first asked, “Do you need to go to counseling?” one day after class let out. I was so confused, of course, he thought the little girl I had written about was myself lol. How silly. Any who, once he realized that wasn’t the case, he praised me heavily for my writing skills asking if he may use my story as an example for his other classes. I agreed.
- When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
I was lying in bed in my college dormitory and things around me just seemed strange like it wasn’t happening correctly. Like life was out of bounds. So I remember taking out my blackberry and writing some notes about what was happening around me from the tree branches cracking outdoors to the hard snowflakes slapping against my windows and the curtains vehemently beating against the walls when the wind would subside every few minutes or so…I started writing about Nicholas from [Borderline] shortly thereafter.
- What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
Completely indulged in the evenings, about 6pm-10pm and sometimes longer depending on how engulfed I am with the story of a particular character. I once wrote all night because while writing about Irving being saved from his abusive household by Rose from CPS I began to weep. I had to keep going, my mind was thinking of the next scene faster than I could type. I didn’t want to end up losing my train of thought.
- What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I pull character inspiration for all of my male characters from every man I’ve ever dated or had an intimate relationship in my life. Lol I am the author Taylor Swift.
- How long does it take to write a book? (if you’ve written one -published or non)
It depends, I’ve once written 3 books in 4 months and then another book took me 2 years. So it honestly just depends on how I am feeling at the time and what is going on in my life.
- Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?
I do. I think it’s important for writers to see the world through a different pair of lenses. Others see the world one way, straight forward, actionable, dramatic etc. While as a writer you have to see the world differently because your job is taking someone from their reality and have them encompassed in the life of a character you’re building. Readers want to escape, yet they want to relate, they want a positive outcome so that they may feel that there is a light at the end of the tunnel even if for them…there isn’t. Excellent writing comes from having an open mind, being a visionary, traveling, someone with patience and the ability to be versatile. Also, you have to read other books!
- What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story?
Wrapping it up. I’ve gotten some bad reviews about my endings not being happy. Um, I try to be as realistic as possible and sometimes it’s part one to the story they’re reading. I think it’s important to leave people wanting more and helping them to understand that life is a marathon, not a sprint. To really feel drawn to a character and emotionally invested into a character you can’t just meet them once. I like when my readers look forward to the character development, the positive progression of my characters throughout their journey.
- What do you think makes a good story?
A great lesson, a great message. Something with substance.
- What does your family think of your writing?
They love it, oh, especially my dad. He’s a proud man that one lol.
- Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to invest so heavily into it. Whether that is the creative process or just marketing or investing my time to answer readers’ questions.
- Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?
DM me lol. Don’t be shy!
- When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I completed [Covenant: The Sister Series Compilation] and so many women wrote me on Instagram to tell me how much they loved the stories, but especially enjoyed the one in the end, [Oxygen]. I documented the toxic relationship I had with my ex through two fictional characters who were named Kayla and Kara. I purposely named the women with the first letter (K) like the daughter my ex had when he cheated on me to make her. I knew in that moment I was a writer; I knew I had found my therapy, my outlet and a way to help women not to make the same mistakes I did.