Jay Asher was born in Arcadia, California on September 30, 1975. He grew up in a family that encouraged all of his interests, from playing the guitar to his writing. He attended College right after graduating from San Luis Obispo High School. It was here where he wrote his first two children’s books for a class called Children’s Literature Appreciation. After high school, he had decided he wanted to become an elementary school teacher. He then transferred to California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo where he left his senior year in order to pursue his career as a serious writer. He is married. Throughout his life he worked in various establishments, including as a salesman in a shoe store and in libraries and bookstores.. Many of his work experiences had an impact on some aspect of his writing.
He is currently working on his second Young Adult novel, and has written several picture books and middle grade Humor Novels. Thirteen Reasons Why has won several awards and has received five stars from Teen Book Review. It also has received high reviews from fellow authors such as Ellen Hopkins, Sherman Alexie, and Chris Crutcher, and Gordon Korman.
Asher is a fan of the TV series My So-Called Life. He cites it as a major influence on his writing.
Thirteen Reasons Why (2007). This is the story of Hannah Baker, a girl who committed suicide. She reveals her thirteen reasons for her decision in a series of 7 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. Asher was inspired to write due to incidents that happened in his high school.