top of page

Hayley Barker

Show Stopper: 


A dazzling, high-octane read filled with death-defying acrobatics, circus crowds with an appetite for disaster, and two forbidden teenage lovers trying to escape the shackles of their very different lives. Set in a near-future England where the poorest people in the land must watch their children be taken by 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.


'This is a gripping story that will keep you flipping the pages until the very end....Heart-breaking and uplifting. [A] story will make you wonder how it will all end.' Escapades Of A Bookworm


'An imaginative and unique read which is wonderfully written and a treat to dive into. Get your hands on this book as soon as you can!' A Dream of Books

'A great read, whether you're 12 or 100!' - Amazon review

'A fast paced and gripping novel and would suit both girls and boys. Dark and depressing, beautiful and hopeful - it's got all the elements you need for a good story and the dual narrative works really well' - Amazon. 

Read more about Show Stopper and the follow up, Show Stealer here >>

More resources: 


Twitter: @HayleyABarker

What folk have to say about working with Hayley: 

'Joining The Riff Raff Mentoring Scheme was one of the best decisions I made last year as it led me to Hayley. She has consistently been hugely supportive and encouraging of my work and is always a friendly ear to turn to with any writing woes! She’s warm, approachable and really took the time to understand my writing. I really valued her enthusiasm and input and really benefitted from the one-one-one support. She’s been very useful in giving useful feedback about tone and tense and spotting any inconsistencies.


It’s great to be paired with someone who’s been through the same process and offering me reassurance so I don’t feel as alone in the process. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor and I’m so glad The Riff Raff helped me find her!'

Layla Haidrani - 3-Month Mentoring Scheme. 

Layla Haidrani.jpg

Specialises in: 

YA, adventure, dystopia, romance.

Services offered: 

Three and six month mentoring, Mini, Midi and Mighty Manuscript Shakedowns. 

Hayley says:

I am the author of two YA dystopian novels, Show Stopper (2017) and Show Stealer (2018,) the rights to which have so far been sold to six territories. 


I would love to work with anyone who is interested in writing for adults or children but the area I have greatest experience with is YA. I have fairly recently been through the submission and publication progress so can offer advice and insight into that, as well as help and guidance with the writing process itself. Before being published,  I taught English at A-Level for 18 years. I feel confident that my teaching skills will help me to effectively deliver a mentoring programme and I am so excited to be a part of this wonderful scheme.


I strongly believe in the power of positivity - if you want something enough and are prepared to put in the work for it, then it’s only a matter of time until it happens!  


bottom of page