The Author (2nd from right) and family in size order
Paul Kleiman hails from Far Rockaway, NY via Valley Stream on Long Island. He has lived in Buffalo, Denver, Long Beach (NY) and Manhattan, and is currently a resident of the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills. His people were from Russia, Czechoslovakia, Romania (Transylvania) and Connecticut.
Paul is a graduate of G.W. Hewlett High School in Hewlett, NY, and the University at Buffalo, where he studied English Literature, with professors like Leslie Fiedler, Diane Christian and Richard Fly shaping his ideas on literature and writing. After college, Paul co-headed the rock band the New York Frets, performing with the band and solo in many of Manhattan and Hoboken’s popular rock clubs, and worked several jobs, such as writing tutor and instructor at LaGuardia Community College, waiter, cab driver, and a (decorated) U.S. Customs Inspector while studying writing and musical composition at NYU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, studying with Pulitzer Prize winner and poet Galway Kinnell, and the esteemed novelist E,L, Doctorow, among others, while writing several dozens of songs with his NY Frets co-founder, Steven “Steve” Skoldberg.
Before completing the NYU masters program, Paul succumbed to lifelong parental brainwashing (“name one person you know who makes a living as a musician or writer”) and entered Washington College of Law (American University), where he met a bunch of great friends, learned a bunch of cool stuff about law, legal writing and constitutional and legal history, and then graduated from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City. His favorite class was a seminar “Law and Literature.” There’s a red flag.
After working for a while in law and finding it extremely dissatisfying, Paul wrote a screenplay that was very well-received, placing in the top 1% of 3200 entries in the Motion Picture Academy’s Nicholl’s Screenwriting Competition. The screenplay was optioned by NewLine Cinema. After writing a whole crapload of screenplays, pitching movies and TV shows, selling a script here or there at places like NewLine, Comedy Central, and Lifetime Television, joining the Writers’ Guild of America, teaching, having a couple of kids and getting divorced, Paul invented a massage product to help carpal tunnel sufferers, and started a company to manufacture and market the product, Massage U, Inc., which he runs with his business and life partner and future spouse, Kiki Ryan.
Whew, well, they say to keep it short. That was about 34 years in two paragraphs.
Meanwhile, never having stopped writing or playing music, Paul wrote his first novel, Smoking In Bed: Dreamsof Love, Sex and Terrorism, and is at work on his next book, An Honourable Death, based on a section from Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi. He currently plays guitar and sings in The Dick and Jane Family Orchestra and StompBox Holiday, two LA-based bands.
Paul’s literary, artistic, sports and culinary influences include (among many others): Mark Twain, Galway Kinnell, Kurt Vonnegut, Groucho Marx, Karl Marx, Mel Brooks, John Frankenheimer, Francis Coppola, Eric Clapton, Jerry Garcia, John Lennon, Keith Hernandez, Casey Stengel, and David LeFevre.
Now, you may ask, why does he talk about himself in the third person?