From the Village of Le Roy 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, Fla., 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 Le Roy, where his parents Mary and John Jr., and siblings, Beth, Tim and Tom still live. He now lives in Stuart, Fla., with his wife, Jessica, and children Alexandra (5), Taylor (4), and Ben (9 months).
After graduating from Le Roy High School in 1999, Scanlan came to Genesee Community College where he majored in Computer Science and played on the Cougar baseball team. He graduated in 2001 and continued his studies at the College at Brockport.
"Two great spring training trips to Myrtle Beach, SC., and Cocoa Beach, Fla., as well as the everyday camaraderie with my teammates really enhanced my time at GCC," he recalls. "Though I changed my major to Criminal Justice after leaving GCC, the things I learned while earning an associate degree in Computer Science have really helped me in my job as a police officer.
"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 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 5-year-old girl's kidnapping from an affluent community in Boca Raton, Fla. Reviewers on Amazon call it an "amazing book" with a "really exciting conclusion." "I could not put it down." There are similar reviews for his second novel, "Victims of Circumstance," which chronicles how new evidence sets a convicted killer free and how that impacts the victim's husband.
Scanlan believes his ability to write about the emotions involved in a criminal investigation sets his writing apart.
"I know what investigators go through when they deal with difficult situations. And as a father...I know how that then affects your perspective on things," he said in an interview on the blog Author Quiz.
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," he said on another blog.
Copies of both of Scanlan's books will soon be available at GCC's Alfred O'Connell Library.