Rachel Smith

Rachel is The History Quill’s executive editor. She is our lead content editor and manages our editing and group coaching operations, as well as our content and resources. She lives by the sea in Essex, UK.

Rachel has a degree in English literature and creative writing and reads widely within the historical fiction genre. She is passionate about supporting writers of all backgrounds, subgenres, and experience levels. She has a penchant for stories with a gothic or ghostly edge, along with dual-timeline stories that blend past and present. She particularly enjoys fiction that explores women’s lives during the 19th and 20th centuries.

If Rachel were stranded on a desert island, the two historical novels she would want with her are The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (the first book in the atmospheric, genre-defying Cemetery of Forgotten Books quartet, set in post-Civil War Barcelona) and The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (for its elegance, its slow-burn creepiness, and its brilliant depiction of class tensions in post-WWII England).

Historical fiction subgenre specialisms

Fantasy/alternate history


Historical period specialisms

Early modern (1450–1800)
Late modern (1800–1945)
Contemporary (1945–)


“It has been so much more than a pleasure to work with Rachel on my novel. She made the whole process painless and exceeded all expectations. I couldn’t be more sure that she is the editor to help me bring my ideas to life. She knows exactly what I am trying to accomplish, and I am very excited to see my novel’s progression as a result of her thoughtful advice and suggestions.”

Adam Pendergraft

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