Jay Asher (born September 30, 1975) is an American writer & novelist. He is best known for writing the bestselling 2007 book Thirteen Reasons Why.
Asher was born in Arcadia, California, on September 30, 1975. He attended Cuesta Community College and later California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo where he left during his junior year in order to pursue his career as a writer. Publishers weren't interested in him so he spent years trying to kick-start a career writing children's picture books. He married Joan Marie on September 7, 2002. Asher worked in various establishments, including a shoe store, libraries and bookstores. Asher's work experiences influenced some aspects of his writing.
Asher had published four books: Thirteen Reasons Why, a 2007 New York Times best-selling young-adult fiction novel; The Future of Us, co-written by Carolyn Mackler; What Light; and Piper. Asher had also written several picture books and middle school humor novels. Thirteen Reasons Why had won several awards and had received five stars from Teen Book Review. It had also received high praise from fellow authors such as Ellen Hopkins, Sherman Alexie, Chris Crutcher, and Gordon Korman. Asher is a fan of the television series How I Met Your Mother. He cites it as a major influence on his work. Netflix released a series based on Asher's novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, with Selena Gomez as an executive producer, on March 31, 2017.
In April 2017, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators ("SCBWI") and Asher's agent received an email signed anonymously by seven female members of the society accusing Asher of using conferences to lure women into sexual affairs and that he threatened them to keep quiet. Asher, who is married, admitted to engaging in multiple affairs with members of the society and agreed to no longer attend the conferences in any capacity.
In February 2018, SCBWI announced that it had expelled and/or cut ties with Asher in 2017 following allegations of sexual harassment. Asher disputed that he was expelled stating that he left voluntarily, and filed a lawsuit against the society Prior to the lawsuit the allegations were not publicly reported in the press. Asher maintains that the affairs and were consensual and that he has been a target of harassment for a decade. Asher has not revealed the names of his accusers stating that he has no intention in doing so.
On February 13, 2018, a spokesperson for Netflix confirmed to Buzzfeed News that Asher did not play a creative role in the second season of the series.
- Thirteen Reasons Why (2007) This is the story of Hannah Baker, a girl who dies by suicide. She reveals her thirteen reasons for her decision in a series of several audio tapes mailed to a classmate with instructions to pass them from one student to another, in the style of a chain letter. Through Hannah's recorded voice, her classmates learn the reasons why Hannah decides to take her own life. Besides Hannah, the reader also sees the story through the eyes of Clay Jensen, one of the recipients of the tapes.
- The Future of Us (2011) This was co-written with Carolyn Mackler. This is the story of Josh and Emma, two teenagers who used to be best friends until a huge misunderstanding. In 1996, Josh helps Emma set up her internet, only to find Facebook - before it has been invented. There, they can see themselves 15 years in the future - status updates, information, friends, etc. Using Facebook, they are able to change their destinies.
- What Light (2016) Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon - it's an idyllic place for a girl to grow up, except that every year they have to pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life begins to eclipse the other.
- Piper (2017) A graphic novel co-written with Jessica Freeburg and illustrated by Jeff Stokely.