Michelle Rodriguez spends plenty of time singing, wearing masks and thinking about vampires.
She also keeps up with her 2-year-old daughter, Cordelia, and 5-year-old son Noah, who is autistic. Michelle, formerly a teacher at is now a stay-at-home mom while her husband Jose works as an assistant principal at Curie High School in Chicago.
Born and raised in Chicago Heights, the talented mom consistently lives a life of fantasy, mystery and chaos.
The and alum is an opera singer at St. Xavier University and has written more than 20 novels. Michelle published the first of those books, entitled Opera Macabre, this year.
"I've always had stories in my head, since I was a little girl," Michelle said, adding that her biggest literary inspiration was Phantom of the Opera.
"There's just something about it that touches you and wraps around you," she said. "You can't let go of it."
Rodriguez is so inspired by Phantom, in fact, she has written 60 stories and two novels based on its characters. Many of which are commented on by fans as far away as Germany and Australia.
As for her other projects, Michelle said she is now venturing into more spiritual territory.
"I'm working on a series about angels and demons that will be part of a collective set," she said. "I've written four so far, and I'm hoping to write at least seven."
You can see her perform next at St. Xavier University in Chicago at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 29, as part of a joint alumni recital.
"I'll be performing in German, Italian and English," Michelle said, adding that she'll be selling copies of her book at the show. You can also order a copy of Opera Macabre on Amazon.
Michelle recently became a Patch Local Voice Blogger as well. Stay tuned for her first blog post about her creative process, coming tomorrow!