GREENSBURG, Ind. — Former Rush County resident Gregg Mauzy McManus recently authored his first published book.

"The Bug Light Room" is a sci-fi novel that speculates about an alien presence on Earth and how the government might respond in dealing with this crisis in the context of the real circumstances of local, state and national politics. According to a news release from AuthorHouse, the company that published the book, it will appeal to science fiction fans as well as those who enjoy political intrigue.

During a recent Daily News interview, McManus explained what inspired him: "For year I was Vice President of Government Affairs for Vectren and did lobbying at the General Assembly. One night when I returned to my hotel room, there was a television program on claiming that there weren't just a few alien abductions of humans, but a large number of them. This aroused my skepticism. Given how many Americans are armed, I thought someone might have gotten a shot off. That sparked my imagination. What if an American did land a punch? Who in Washington would take that call? How would the aliens react? The book was launched that night, although it took years to write."

McManus explained that in the book two Indiana roofers acquire a bazooka. They want to try it out at Jimmie Hatter's hunting blind next to the Hoosier National Forest. This is in the fall, two weeks before a close presidential election. Jimmie and his buddy find an alien space craft in the valley below his blind.

He means to fire a shot across their bow, but he ends up destroying the spacecraft. This sets off a series of violent events as the aliens and a highly secret government agency pursue the two hapless protagonists.

The author said he found the experiences associated with writing his first novel very rewarding.

"It has been a great creative outlet, especially in these pandemic times of restriction," he said. "At the age of 73, not too many places would hire me. But, I believe in my story-telling ability and can write books that will sell! Also, I believe fiction can cause people to try on ideas they might not accept if you tried to present it as factual."

With the exception of a few years in Washington, the author spent nearly his entire life in Indiana.

"I love my fellow Hoosiers and working to help the state progress with the EDGE legislation, I-69 highway, saving the Crane Weapons Support Center, etc.," he said. "I actually hope the book will draw attention to the action scenes that take place in the book."

"The Bug Light Room" is available at Amazon books, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, and Books-a-illion. It already has six 5-star reviews on Amazon.

McManus was born and raised in Rushville. He graduated from Butler, Georgetown and I.U. (two Master's degrees); served as assistant to Senator Birch Bayh during the Watergate years in D.C.; served as a Vice President of Government Affairs at Vectren; and until recently taught U.S. History at the University of Evansville and Southern Indiana.

His wife Jane Hackett-McManus is from Columbus. They reside in New Hampshire.

You can learn more about the book at thebuglightroom.com.

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