Author Velda Brotherton

Velda Brotherton has been writing for about twenty years, give or take. Fly With The Mourning Dove is the true story of family members who homesteaded in New Mexico after World War One. Her distant cousin, Edna Smith Hiller, helped tell the story of her life on the high desert near Taos.
Images In Scarlet is an historical fiction romance about Allie Caine, a photographer who left Missouri after the Civil War to begin a new life in Santa Fe. Her adventures along the trail lead her to befriend outlaws and a man searching for his own identity.

Both books have a New Mexico theme, thus the combining of them for this book tour.
Velda lives in Arkansas with her husband. They have two children, three grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Find Velda on line at: and

For you history buffs, the following is a sample of Velda’s love of the history of photography and writing:

The word photography comes from the Greek words photos (“light”) and graphein (“to draw”) In 1839 Sir John F.,W. Herschel coined the word to mean a method of recording images by the action of light on a sensitive material.

The first fixed image was accomplished by Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1827. He was a patient man who waited eight hours for the image to appear. Even so, that was only half the battle. Once it did appear, the images tended not to hang around too long and time would see it fade away.

At about the same time Jacques Mande Daguerre was also experimenting on those vanishing images. Being equally as patient as Niepce, he continued to experiment for another dozen years before he managed to reduce the exposure time to less than 30 minutes and keep the image from disappearing. Think of that. Sitting in one position for 30 minutes to get your picture made, which was the term used then. Actually, these guys tended to stick to still life studies rather than fidgeting people.

These two guys finally got together. The spent several more years experimenting before developing a more convenient and effective method of photography. By then, having taken much too long, poor Niepce couldn’t wait around and he passed away. Therefore, he lost all chance to have his name on the invention. When Daguerre felt his method to be successful, he called the procedure the daguerreotype. He and Niepce’s son sold the rights for the procedure to the French government in 1839, then published a booklet describing the process.

And that’s how Daguerre was credited as the inventor of the first practical process of photography. By 1850 there were over 70 daguerreotype studios in New York City alone.

In 1839 Matthew Brady met, and studied with Samuel Morse. He also met Daguerre and returned to the United States determined to capitalize upon the invention of the Daguerreotype. He soon established a highly successful Gallery in New York City where he became a famed portrait photographer.

Brady was not the first to document war in photographs, but he became famous for his documentary photography of the American Civil War. However, he did not take many of the photographs which bear his name. His company equipped a number of photographers (twenty, it is said) with what were to become known as “What-is-it?” or “What’s it?” darkroom wagons to cover the War. He stipulated that his name as employer would appear on all photographs taken by those he had hired.

Timothy O’Sullivan was a famed photographer who worked for Brady until 1863. No one will ever know for sure who took many of the most famous of the Civil War photographs produced by Brady’s company, but the most famous of these is “Harvest of Death” photographed by O’Sullivan.

The process Brady’s team used was the collodion one, invented by Frederick Scott Archer. The limitations of equipment and materials prevented any action shots, but some seven thousand pictures were produced which portrayed the grim realities of war. So grim, in fact, that people began to tire of looking at them. So much so that Brady actually went bankrupt.

In Images In Scarlet Allie Caine uses the wet plate collodion method, and her father’s double box Giroux Daguerreotype Camera. She treats a glass plate in a bath of silver nitrate prior to inserting it into the light- free box of the bulky wooden camera. After the subject is exposed by removing the lens covering for a specific time, then recovering it, she dips the glass in a chemical bath, then uses lots of cold clear water to wash the plate. Inside the dark ‘what’s it wagon’ albumen-coated paper is pressed onto the plate to develop the image to paper which is then hung to dry. Taking photographs is a difficult business, hoisting the heavy wooden camera and tripod into position is work enough by itself, but Allie exists for the subjects she frames in the lens. That is until she meets Jake.

Read the first chapter of Dove

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. J.R.Engle says:

    An interesting article. I did not know photography has undergone so many transitions.

  2. zhadi says:

    Thank you for a very interesting and informative post! It sucks for poor Niepci… but can you imagine the type of imagination it took to come up with photography in the first place?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh my gosh! My grandfather was from Kentucky, who had turberculosis and homesteaded in Montana for the air. He had a ranch west of Jordan.
    I read the first chapter and it is wonderfully written, so much so that I’ve got to get the rest! Thank you for writing it.
    Wanda Rosseland
    Circle, MT

  4. Helen Ginger says:

    Both books sound interesting. I read the opening chapter for Dove and liked it. I think I’m going to order it for my aunt for Christmas.
    Helen Ginger

  5. Heidiwriter says:

    Fascinating! Thanks for sharing the historical information about photography. This is fun, following your book tour, Velda!

  6. Alice Trego says:

    After reading about your photography research, Velda, and how this is incorporated into your novel, Images in Scarlet, your book sounds familiar to me. Like I’ve read it before? Hmm, I’ll have to put your book on my TBR list so I can find out.

    Alice, who is enjoying your book blog tour!

  7. Barb H says:

    Velda, what an intresting history of the origins of photography! No wonder some of the subjects of old pictures look so serious. They’re tired of standing still for so long!!

    Love the way you weave that research so naturally into your novel.

    Barb H

  8. Jeri says:

    I am also enjoying the book tour. I enjoy reading the comments.

  9. Velda Brotherton says:

    Good to see some of you from the previous stop. Glad you’re following. And welcome to those who’ve joined here. Thanks to Suzanne for posting this. Wanda, how cool is that? I’m so glad you all liked the first chapters. Alice, Images is a re-release from the 90s, so you may have read it once already, but maybe not too. Hope you try again.
    See you at the next stop. Check my blog for the full schedule.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Jeannie says:

    What an amazing experience to create a process such as photography. I can hardly wait to read Images in Scarlet. Loved Fly With the Mouring Dove. new Mexico is one of my favorite settings for a story…it is a truly beautiful state.

  11. Jan Morrill says:

    Thanks for the interesting post! The information on the history of photography was all new to me, and proves how much we can learn, whether writing fiction or non-fiction.

    I’m really enjoying the virtual book tour. What a great idea!

    Jan Morrill

  12. Lily Ann says:

    Hey Suzanne,
    “Lookie here” you’ve already had 11 posts on this article. WOW!! You’ve got quite the following!

  13. Gwyn Ramsey says:

    Very interesting article about the changes down the years in photography.

  14. Delois says:

    I’m really geting into this now that I’ve figured it out. So easy, I’m embarassed to say, I should have been doing it at the beginning–but I’ll catch up. Guess I just hate trying new things. Interesting info on early photography.

  15. Velda Brotherton says:

    Some great comments posted here. I’ve enjoyed reading them and seeing some new faces along with friends who are following the tour. Check my blog August 4 for the names of the winners of books and ring.