[GUEST POST] According To Tray Ellis, Pink Is Perfection

Pink is Perfect

Okay, so I have to admit, when I first wrote the color scheme into How Sweetly the Whippoorwill Sings, I was doing it with a tarnished love of the color pink. It’s a gorgeous color: vibrant, uplifting, warm, flirty, playful. It is stunning when paired with many other colors. A black gown with some pink crinoline beneath just screams 80’s dance party, and a white tennis sneaker with pink trim looks so adorable. Men look delectable in those crisp pale pink long-sleeved business shirts.

No, my problem with pink is what it represents, which is going too far to one side of the female spectrum. Because how many men really wear those pale pink long-sleeved business-shirts? Far fewer than there should be. Try shopping for a gift for a baby when you don’t know the gender yet. There’s not a lot out there that isn’t boy-blue or girl-pink. So, when I see the color pink, I start to think of it as pigeon-holing, and I don’t like that. I want people, and the characters in my stories, to be more than just a representation of a boy/girl color. (To be fair, I did come across a very interesting article pointing out that this blue-boy and pink-girl dichotomy is relatively recent. Not too far in the past, femininity was associated with soft blue colors. How that shift happened wasn’t explained in the article.)

For my story, though, I was writing about a wedding and forever love, and the blush of new love between the groom’s best man and the bride’s brother, and all of those things are also represented by the color pink. I needed to embrace pink, not shy away from it. I spent some time looking up the various shades of pink, and wow, were there a lot. Some were luscious shades and some weren’t to my preference, but the longer I spent looking at the colors, the more I started to like them, and the easier it became to write those colors into my story. Instead of just saying the bridesmaids’ dresses were pink, they became “soft rose-colored gowns”. The church wasn’t just decorated in pink and white ribbons, it was dressed up like “a pale peppermint candy cane”. The next thing I knew, I was dashing bits of pink everywhere!

Then came the ultimate moment. For my very first solo published story, I was to get my very own cover. From the moment I knew that, I also knew there had to be pink involved, and indeed, it was a flowery, glorious pink so lovely that it seemed almost fragrant.

I still have some reservations about the associations that pink recalls, but my adoration of my story cover will endure, and as far as I can say: pink is perfect.


How Sweetly the Whippoorwill Sings is available through Dreamspinner Press starting on May 28th, 2014.


On the day of Molly and Irving’s wedding the usual hiccups and snags happen, but Irving’s best man, chemistry professor Everett Donnelly, is there to smooth them over, keep everyone organized, and make last minute adjustments based on the lists he keeps. If only he weren’t distracted and reeling from his strong attraction to Molly’s brother, police officer Jake Mountbatten, whom Everett first met at the rehearsal dinner.

In between boutonnière crises and wedding photos, the two men have ample opportunities to catch each other’s eye, but the obligations of the wedding interrupt them time and again. Finally, all the speeches and traditional activities are over, and Everett finds Jake to see if they can make a little romance of their own.


Tray Ellis grew up with two brothers and many cats and dogs. Her family loves to cook, eat, sit around talking, and quote old movies at each other. The more laughter the better, and her family loves to laugh. Tray has a completely romantic view of autumn, and thinks it is the perfect season and an excellent source of writing inspiration. When she isn’t writing, she keeps busy by jogging, fishing, cooking, baking, and keeping her home in some semblance of order. (Perhaps she has completely exaggerated that her home is in any kind of order whatsoever.)

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