Dive in to The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club by Katie May, a wonderful and warm novel published in three digital parts, with Part One out today.


In this opening installment, we find Deb, newly separated from her feckless husband and struggling to start again on her own. When she begins to swim every day at Reeves Beach, she soon gathers a group of new friends around her – each of them at their own crisis point. But can Deb escape her old life, or will family ties and personal demons drag her underwater again?


A book about the power of friendship, The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club also brings to life Katie’s love for the sea. As she says herself in her newsletter:


“It’s never busy, and once you’re in, it feels like there’s nothing in the world but the sea and the sky. I often think I like everything quiet, but when I’m swimming, I realise that’s not right at all: my ears are filled with noise, but it’s gentle noise, undemanding and rhythmic. Sometimes, if I put my head underwater, I can hear the faint tilling of the shingle on the sea-bed. But even after I get out, I feel like I’ve absorbed the rhythm of the waves for hours to come.


I’ve been thinking about sea-swimming a lot this year, while I’ve been writing The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club. I’ve been thinking about the magic of the sea, the way that it draws people together, and the way that it quiets their restless souls. I’ve been watching its different moods more closely than ever, and deliberately dipping into the waves on days when I’d normally stay warm and dry. You’ll be glad to know that I take my research very seriously.


I know that swimming pools are safer, warmer, more predictable. I know that they come with changing rooms and hot showers. But for me, the sea offers something entirely other: a wide, open space in which to float, literally and metaphorically.”


Happy Publication Day, Katie – we hope it’s warm enough for a celebratory swim!