FOR 12 YEARS HE LIVED QUIETLY IN A DILAPIDATED HOUSE IN THE WOODS ON Puget Sound's misty Bainbridge Island, typing away like the thinking man's Grizzly Adams. But when his first novel, Snow Falling on Cedars
, won the prestigious PEN/Faulkner Award and hit the bestseller list last fall, the world suddenly beat a path to David Guterson's door—and liked what it saw. "There is no connection between how a person looks and how a person writes," says his friend, author George Plimpton, "but I wish I looked—and wrote—^ as well as David does." The strong-shouldered, 40-year-old former high school English teacher wears layered flannels, not as grunge-chic but to ward off drafts. He pumps iron at a local gym as a way of spending quality time with son Taylor, 14. And in the morning, he says, "I get up, come into my office above the kitchen, and I don't even brush my teeth." Of course that schedule has changed now that Universal Pictures has optioneo" Cedars
for a reported $1 million-plus and Guterson has been launched onto the book-tour circuit. "There is a lot about it that I don't like," he says wryly, "but I've learned to make myself presentable." As for anything else, "I'm a happily married solid citizen with four children," says Guterson, "which dispels the formation of groupies." So don't get any literary ambitions, girls.