Show Stopper Blog Tour

“I feel a tingle run down my spine, just standing here, looking down at the circus. It annoys me, the effect it has on me. It’s a bad place, an evil place.”

-Hayley Barker, Show Stopper

Hey guys! You might remember me fangirling about the awesome Show Stopper by Hayley Barker not too long ago, if not, you can check out my review here. Today I’m thrilled to tell you all that I have a guest post written by the lovely Hayley herself as part of the Show Stopper blog tour!

Keep reading for her post!



What inspired you to set Show Stopper in a Circus?

When I was younger, I loved reading Circus Stories, particularly the ones by Enid Blyton. The circus was so magical and exciting and the adventures the characters had sounded so thrilling. When I eventually got to go to a real circus though, the reality never lived up to the vivid pictures painted in the books. As I got older, I realised I completely disagreed with animals in circuses, and most traditional circuses I’ve seen, even those without animals, are a little bit shabby and tawdry close up. There are other artistic interpretations of circuses now too of course; I watched a Cirque De Soleil show once in Vegas, and the skill of the performers was breath-taking.

As a writer though, it was the idea of a circus–the one I’d formed from my childhood reading–that appealed, rather than my own actual experiences. The circus can be used to create a different, “Other” place, functioning alongside the everyday world we know, and yet completely detached from it.

In the book, Ben, the main male protagonist, feels stifled by his safe, sterile and boring life. Everywhere he goes, he’s followed by security guards and he’s never allowed any freedom. When he enters the Cirque, he describes it as “like walking into an alternative reality.” He experiences a sensory overload of colours and sounds and smells and he’s intoxicated by it. I think this is why he falls for Hoshiko so quickly and so dramatically: she’s part of the sparkle and lights that seduce him and draw him back time and time again. He quickly discovers that there’s a lot more to her, and the circus, than meets the eye but, despite the way it horrifies and disgusts him, the lure of the place never really leaves him.

“I feel a tingle run down my spine, just standing here, looking down at the circus. It annoys me, the effect it has on me. It’s a bad place, an evil place.”


Hayley BarkerHayley Barker has a BA (hons) degree from Birmingham University and has taught secondary school English for eighteen years. She is a huge YA fiction fan and says being published is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to her. Hayley was inspired to write Show Stopper by her fears about the growing wave of crime and animosity against minority groups in England. She lives in Essex with her husband and two young sons.

Follow Hayley on Twitter: @HayleyABarker


Thanks so much Hayley for taking the time to do this guest post! And a big thanks to the lovely Olivia Horrox at Scholastic for organising it all!

Thanks for reading, I hope you all enjoyed that. Has anyone read Show Stopper yet? What did you think? What are your favourite books set in a circus?

You can check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour below:

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