Rachel earned her Ph.D. in creative writing (specializing in fiction and creative nonfiction) and 19th-century studies from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She studies Victorian and neo-Victorian writing, focusing on the Gothic and crime genres, and is particularly interested in postcolonial, feminist, and queer responses to and reworkings of Victorian history. She has taught classes in composition, creative writing, mystery and the Gothic, children's literature, and women's literature.
Short stories and essays by Rachel have appeared in New Ohio Review, Deep South Magazine, Glassworks, Literary Orphans, and others, and have won the Margaret McKinney, George Mahan, and Virginia Grabill awards in fiction and the New Ohio Review nonfiction contest. Before coming to Nebraska, she received her B.F.A. from the University of Evansville in 2012 and her M.A. from the University of Missouri in 2014.