Two LaSalle residents have put a dent in the world of literature just two weeks since their book launched.
Matthew St. Amand and Todd Ternovan joined forces to create the memoir piece on Ternovan’s four-decade career with the Ontario Provincial Police called, ‘Gas of Tank: A Canadian Law Enforcement Odyssey 1979-2019.‘
Since its introduction to the public, the book has taken the number 1 bestseller spot in Law Enforcement Biographies and Memoirs, an impressive feat for a partnership that started as friendly neighbours casually talking to one another.
“[Ternovan] has been my neighbor for about 16 years. And I’ve always known him to have a good sense of humor and interesting stories,” said St. Amand. “I knew he was an Ontario Provincial Police Constable, but when I learned his original career path in life had been to be a daycare teacher, I thought ‘how do you go from aspiring to become a daycare teacher and working with kids to becoming an OPP Constable.’ As we talked about it more, it got more interesting.”
Eventually, the idea of creating a book, documenting all of Ternovan’s stories from his time with the OPP became a possible reality. Ternovan said the whole experience has been overwhelming, but well worth it. Being an avid reader himself, he said he feels very humbled to have a book on his shelf with his name on the cover and his story in its pages.
“I want our readers to get my perspective.,” said Ternovan. “If they want to start a law enforcement career they need to realize that you’ll be asked to do some things that you can’t even imagine. These are things that really aren’t explained to you when you apply for a law enforcement position… When I started the job in 1990, mental health was not a concern. Neither was racism, really, or sexism, misogyny, none of those things were at the forefront back then. So as you read through some of these events that I went through, you can think, at least now they have some awareness about the problematic issues that occurred.”
St. Amand said one of the things he wants readers to take away from the story is a new level of understanding for the profession and the people who are involved in the police force.
“As much as we think we know what other people go through with their job, we really have no idea,” said St. Amand. “At times, writing his story was like watching a movie. I would hear the story, and then I would ask some questions because at times, while I believe what Ternovan was saying was true, the scenarios themselves were sometimes so incredible.”
Though some of the names and locations were changed to protect the real identities of the involved characters, all the events have stayed the same.
“These are police stories so at times the language and scenarios are unflinching because that’s just the nature of the beast,” said Ternovan. “I know for me personally, I’m used to the nightly news. I’ll watch and feel like ‘wow, I really saw something.’ When really, I just saw the edited version.”
Signed copies of Gas of Tank are available at Juniper Books on Ottawa St. in Windsor and at River Bookshop in Amherstburg. Now that COVID restrictions lifting, Ternovan and St. Amand are planning to host events so they can meet their readers.
The book was released as a Kindle edition and paperback on Feb 11 and the reviews on Amazon say it all, describing the book as ‘dark and gritty, with a great comedic finish.’
For more information or to order a copy of Gas of Tank, please visit gasoftank.com