Longtime writer and teacher Maureen Yoder caught a travel bug from her father, a former international air pilot. She’s traveled far and wide to Greece, Hawaii, Panama Canal Zone, Alaska, Costa Rica, Pennsylvania, no place ranking as more exotic than the other. Yoder jokes that she loves traveling so much that even a quick jog over to Gadsden County could be considered an adventure.
Her family has lived in Japan, Germany, and Portugal, and visited numerous landscapes and countries. Travel served as her biggest inspiration as a writer. Yoder seeks an experience-driven life in order to meet people and interact with the environment, culture, and histories of any given locale. These explorations have worked their way into the settings and character developments in her creative writing, a passion that has coalesced with her travels.
“I feel like Scout in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’” says Yoder of one of her favorite books. “I have been reading and I’ve been writing in school creatively since I can remember, making up stories and journaling. It’s been a whole lifetime.”
Her extensive travels have gifted her the chance to meet and interact with all kinds of people. She remains fascinated with the everyday person — children, neighbors, the postman, colleagues, and students all inspiring her, and their life experiences informing her stories. Growing up in Miami and earning her bachelor’s degree in English from University of Central Florida, Yoder would write silly asides about tourists who find themselves sunburned and crossing paths with shady characters. Yoder continued with her master’s degree in creative writing at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.
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