From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
HE'S GOT MAIL—AND plenty of it. The e-missives that flood the PC at author Po Bronson's three-story Edwardian house near San Francisco's Golden Gate Park are not about his work. Inspired by the pictures on his book jackets, women bombard the 35-year-old writer with digital mash notes, marriage proposals and even nude pictures. "If the message says 'photo attached,' " says the bemused Bronson (real first name Philip, but he goes by a family nickname), "I don't even look."

Well, you can't blame a girl for trying. With his intense blue eyes and gray-flecked brown hair, the 5'11" Stanford University grad is a head turner. "I'll take a friend to a party where he is," says Bronson pal Jane Ganahl, a journalist, "and they'll say, 'Good God, who's that?' He's definitely got something going on." Plenty, in fact. Critics, for the most part, praise his novels, Bombardiers and The First 20 Million Is Always the Hardest, set in the worlds of bond traders and computer start-ups. His current nonfiction take on Silicon Valley, The Nudist on the Late Shift, hit some bestseller charts. But the Seattle native doesn't stay locked in a garret. He is, says writer friend Ethan Watters, "pathologically well-rounded." A self-described "soccer junkie," Bronson plays three to five times a week and works out by swing dancing. "I used to teach aerobics," he says, "so I know how to move my hips."

But the move that attracted his girlfriend of three years, Michele Jumper, 31, an immunologist who develops cancer drugs, is in the kitchen. "He's a fabulous cook," says Jumper. "He can cook Asian food from his mind." Despite operating on all burners, Bronson, whose eight-year marriage to his college sweetheart ended in 1996, clears his calendar for romance. "The ideal date" he says, "should begin in the afternoon."