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 holds a degree in English literature and creative writing. She reads widely within the historical fiction genre and is passionate about supporting writers of all backgrounds, experience levels, and subgenres. She has a penchant for dark, suspenseful stories, especially those that fall into the realm of the gothic or supernatural.

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 centred around a labyrinthine library of forgotten books – every bibliophile’s dream) and The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (for its elegance, slow-burn creepiness, and 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–)