British author Richard Platt was born in Northumberland in 1953. He started writing when aged 27 with how-to articles and books about photography. By 1992 he had begun writing non-fiction books for children, initially collaborating with Stephen Biesty in a successful series that capitalized on the illustrator's facility for cross-sectional drawings. Since then, Richard Platt has gone on to complete some 60 more books for UK publishers Oxford University Press, Kingfisher, Dorling Kindersley and Walker Books/Candlewick Press. Most have been for children and young people, though he also writes books for adults on maritime themes, especially smuggling.
An example of his books is the 2001 Pirate Diary: The Journal of Jake Carpenter. Pirate Diary is the story of a young man struggling to survive on a pirate ship. He sees the good, the bad and the ugly, which educates the reader on historical issues of piracy. This is consistent with most of his books.