When she was little and had to go to bed, Andrea Torrey Balsara would carefully arrange stuffed animals around her bed to protect her from the Creature-Who-Lives-Under-The-Bed.  Since she has grown, she has had many real animal friends: a retired racing greyhound named Jasper, a sweet but toothless rescued stray cat named Sammy, a rat named Frodo, and two sweet guinea pigs.  They are all remembered and well-loved (and show up in stories and illustrations from time to time).  These days, Andrea's family includes her patient and wonderful husband and two daughters, two cats named Tiger and Snowy, and two shelter dogs named Oliver and Maisie.  With such wonderful company, the Creature-Who-Lives-Under-The-Bed doesn't bother her anymore. 

Not much, anyway.

The inspiration for GREENBEARD came from Andrea's guinea pigs: Petunia, a fierce, lettuce-loving pig whose blonde chin-fur turned green when she ate lettuce (pictured above at right); and her mate Piggy, a sweet, gentle pig (above left).  Alas, both Petunia and Piggy have gone to the happy alfalfa grounds in the sky, but their memories live on in the adventures of GREENBEARD THE PIRATE PIG! 

Andrea Torrey Balsara is the author of many books and is a self-taught artist who has recently switched from watercolor to digital media for illustrating.  All of the illustrations for GREENBEARD THE PIRATE PIG  were done using Corel Painter and a Wacom digital tablet.  Check out more of her work at her main website at!


“As the owners of two adorable guinea pigs, my kids
were thrilled to have a children’s book starring one!”
“It really truly was a fun-tastic read from start to finish....
You'll follow the dashing pig from his homey garden out
into the world as he proves that there is nothing able to
stop determination, a little luck and a great attitude.”