Show Stopper Blog Tour: Inspiration

Today, I bring to you another blog tour post! I don’t know about you guys but I love blog tours because I like to follow each blog post and maybe discover new blogs and more information for a specific book. Today’s book is Show Stopper by Hayley Barker which honestly sounds fantastic:

Set in a near-future England where the poorest people in the land are forced to sell their children to a travelling circus – to perform at the mercy of hungry lions, sabotaged high wires and a demonic ringmaster. The ruling class visit the circus as an escape from their structured, high-achieving lives – pure entertainment with a bloodthirsty edge. Ben, the teenage son of a draconian government minister, visits the circus for the first time and falls instantly in love with Hoshiko, a young performer. They come from harshly different worlds – but must join together to escape the circus and put an end to its brutal sport.

Today, I’m bringing to you a guest post from Hayley about where her inspiration for this book came from so let’s pass it over to her now.

From an early age, I loved reading circus stories and I wanted to try and capture that magical feel in my own writing. The circus represents an escape from life, a thrilling other world in which anything can happen. In Show Stopper though, Ben discovers that the circus is a cruel and evil place, representing all that is wrong with society. This idea came from my concerns about the rise of the extreme right wing groups which I saw happening across Europe and in the wider world, as well as the apparently  growing animosity against minority groups in England.

Sadly, many of the terrible things which happen in Show Stopper are not as unlikely and fantastical as they may first appear. People have been tortured for entertainment right back to the Roman gladiators and beyond. Just to skim the surface and name a few examples:

  • Jewish people, the disabled and homosexuals were all targeted in the most horrific ways by Hitler and the Nazis. Hitler’s aim was genocide – to destroy an entire race of people. After their deaths, their body parts were often recycled and used for experimentation.
  • In India, the Dalit, a group of people deemed the “Untouchables”, still experience discrimination which is just as horrific as that which the Dregs suffer in Show Stopper.
  • In South Africa, apartheid, the institutionalised system of racial segregation and discrimination, lasted over forty years and was only finally abolished in 1991.
  • The slave trade across the Atlantic Ocean went on for hundreds and hundreds of years and Black people in America were legally segregated until 1964.


The Twentieth century, the bloodiest in history, saw more than its fair share of the horrors mankind is capable of inflicting and it does not always feel as if we are learning the lessons of history. Racial and sexual discrimination are still in operation in many places across the globe and I wanted this novel to be an outcry against intolerance and prejudice. I didn’t want to write a didactic novel though, but one which people couldn’t put down, one which entertained and gripped with its story. That’s what I tried to do when I wrote Show Stopper, I guess it’s for the reader to judge whether or not I’ve succeeded.


The inspiration behind this book has definitely made me want to pick the book up more so I hope it has with you too! You guys should definitely pick the book up as well as check out all of the other stops on the blog tour.

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