Philip Beard will guest host #LitChat on July 30, 2014 at 4 p.m. E.D.T. Follow #LitChat on Twitter or login to our dedicated channel at www.nurph.com/litchat.Philip Beard

Philip Beard‘s coming of age saga, Swing, features unforgettable characters whose lives are impacted by John Kostka, a paraplegic man known on the streets of 1971 Pittsburg as “The Swinger.”

John Kostka is three feet tall but larger than life, moving through the world on gloved hands and powerful arms as if on a set of parallel bars. Henry Graham is a ten year-old boy whose father has just left home for good. SwingWhen the two meet at a downtown bus stop, all they seem to have in common is their love of the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates. But that is enough to begin a life-long friendship that, eventually, enables both men to confront old enemies and heal old wounds.

Beard’s third and most accomplished novel swings between two narratives the way John Kostka swings through life. The result is a multifaceted meditation on childhood heroes, the beauty of baseball and the power of love to heal a family in crisis.

Philip Beard is the author of two previous novels, Lost in the Garden and Dear Zoe, which was a Borders Original Voices selection, a Book Sense pick, and was named by the American Library Association’s Booklist as one its “Ten Best First Novels of the Year.” It is currently being developed as a feature film. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, Traci, and their three daughters.

Watch CBS Pittsburgh television interview with Philip Beard here.

Follow Philip Beard on Twitter: @PhilipBeard17.