Jeannette Walls to visit Wichita

Jeannette Walls, author of the best-selling memoir "The Glass Castle," turned her hand to fiction for her next book, " Half Broke Horses" (Scribner, 272 pages, $15). Well, sort of. The "true-life novel" is based on the life of her grandmother Lily Casey Smith, an independent and resourceful woman, and quite an interesting character (in both senses of the word).

The book follows Smith through childhood on a Texas ranch, where she learned to break horses, through her career as a schoolteacher, the Great Depression, family tragedies and the confrontation of prejudice.

Although the book is practically a biography, Walls is refreshingly candid about the process: "since I don't have the words from Lily herself, and since I have also drawn on my imagination to fill in details... the only honest thing to do is call the book a novel."

Walls will discuss her writings and sign books at the Orpheum on Wednesday.

If you go

Jeannette Walls book-signing

What: Reading and book-signing by Jeannette Walls, author of "The Glass Castle" and "Half Broke Horses"

Where: Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Tickets: Available at Watermark Books, 4701 E. Douglas. For more information, call 316-682-1181.

2 other authors also appearing this week

Today: Rhys Bowen will read from and sign her latest Royal Spyness book, " Royal Blood" (Berkley Hardcover, 320 pages, $24.95), at 2 p.m. at Watermark Books, 4701 E. Douglas. The series follows the adventures of Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie in 1930s London; the latest installment takes "Georgie" to Transylvania.

Thursday: Former Wichitan Carolyn Scott Kortge will read from and sign her book " Healing Walks for Hard Times" (Trumpeter Books, 208 pages, $15.95 paper) at 6 p.m. at Watermark.