John Scanlan: GCC Alumnus Pens Second Novel

From the Village of LeRoy to Florida’s Treasure Coast, John Scanlan may now live far from his childhood home, but the lessons he learned in Western New York and at Genesee Community College are still with him. A police officer in Palm Beach, Florida, Scanlan is also a writer. His second crime novel, Victims of Circumstance, has just been published by Sunbury Press, Inc. His first book, Of Guilt and Innocence, was Sunbury’s best seller for February and March 2013.

Scanlan grew up in LeRoy, where his parents Mary and John Jr., and siblings, Beth, Tim and Tom still live. He now lives in Stuart, Florida with his wife Jessica and three children.

After graduating from LeRoy High School in 1999, Scanlan came to GCC where he majored in Computer Science and played on the Cougar baseball team. “Two great spring training trips…as well as the everyday camaraderie with my teammates really enhanced my time at GCC,” he recalls. He graduated in 2001 and continued his studies at the College at Brockport. “Though I changed my major to Criminal Justice after leaving GCC, the things I learned while earning an associate’s degree in Computer Science have really helped me in my job as a police officer,” he said. “Having more than just a working knowledge of computers certainly gives me an advantage in law enforcement, not to mention helps with my other job as a writer.”

From 2001-2004, Scanlan worked for the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Border Patrol. In 2005 he joined the police department in the Town of Palm Beach, Florida where he serves on the Crisis Intervention Team and regularly encounters material that inspires his writing.

His first book, Of Guilt and Innocence, tells the story of a five year old girl’s kidnapping from an affluent community in Boca Raton, Florida. Reviewers on Amazon call it an “amazing book” with a “really exciting conclusion.” There are similar reviews for Victims of Circumstance, which chronicles how new evidence sets a convicted killer free and how that impacts the victim’s husband. 

Scanlan says his writing began as a “secret hobby” that he pursued further when he found himself with some quiet hours at home. Depending on his schedule he writes between one and three hours a day, but sometimes doesn’t write at all. “I never push it and that keeps it fun and me looking forward to it.”

While he crafts his next book, Scanlan encourages others to pursue their passions and consider GCC. “Whether you are just out of high school, or someone who is thinking of starting over, GCC has programs that will fit your needs and schedule,” he said. “GCC is a beautiful, well maintained school that is always improving. It has the cozy feel of a small school, yet the facilities are second to none.”

Scanlan’s books can be found in the popular paperback section of the GCC library.