PaperBackSwap Blog

Author Interview – Dane Batty

Author Interview with Dane Batty

by Cheryl G. (Poncer)



Cheryl: Thank you, Dane Batty, for agreeing to do this interview for PaperBackSwap!

Dane: Thank you!

Cheryl: Your book, Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber is an account of your uncle, Leslie Ibsen Rogge’s history. Tell us a bit about gathering all the information needed to turn his story into a book.

Dane: This book was based on letters Les was writing my mother after he surrendered to the FBI, and I convinced him that we could convert his story into a nice biography. Ten years later, after several interviews and visits with Les in prison we were able to turn his letters into a life story told from his perspective.

Cheryl: Was it difficult at times to share such personal family history with the world?

Dane: It was. I was sensitive to the family members involved though. Although Les and my mother were still friendly there were parts of the family that felt abandoned by his life decisions and were still very hurt. Judy was very sensitive to exposing her life, but she was willing because Les wanted the book to happen.

Cheryl: What is your relationship today with your uncle? And with his wife Judy?

Dane: Even though Les is in federal prison today he has email, and we email a couple times a week and have a great relationship. The book was something for Les to look forward to while he is in prison and something he wanted to do for a long time, so it was a healthy process for him. Les met Judy while he was wanted by the FBI, so I didn’t get to meet her until after his surrender in 1996. So through the book process I got to meet and have a relationship with my aunt.

Cheryl: Though he was named on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, Leslie Rogge seemed very well liked by folks who knew him, even some of those who were victims of his crimes; did that play into your decision to write his story?

Dane: Absolutely. I tried hard not to glorify his crimes, but since he never intended to hurt anybody this was the reason I could tell his story proudly. It seems most true crime books are about murderers, so this was a unique story since you almost want to root for the perp in the end. He was a great friend to a lot of people, but some of those same people got caught in his wake and paid dearly for it through interrogation and legal fees.

Cheryl: The book has garnered a much praise; Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winner for Summer 2011, Finalist in Reader Views Book of the Year Awards Finalist in Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2011, Finalist in True Crime Book Reviews Book of the Year. Could you tell us a bit about how this has made you feel as a writer, and your general reactions to such acclaim?

Dane: It made me proud to win or be a finalist in the awards, and I was excited for the publicity the awards gave the book. I wanted to win though, so I didn’t get too excited about a bunch of second place awards. I am grateful for the general great feedback to my art that I dedicated so many years to.

Cheryl: I have to admit, the idea of sailing around the Caribbean with a loved one and a dog, taking each day as it comes seems like a dream come true; is there a bit of Leslie Ibsen Rogge in you?

Dane: Oh yeah, although I’m not a boat guy I would love the opportunity to jump in my little motor home with my wife and two kids and hit the highway for months at a time visiting new towns and big cities we haven’t seen. But, I’m part of the working class with a conscience, so until the book becomes a blockbuster movie we will have to settle for the weekend trips to the coast!

Cheryl: You have been a member of PaperBackSwap for a while now. What are your thoughts on PBS from your perspective as a member? And your thoughts on PBS as an author?

Dane: I love PBS. I think it’s a terrific idea, but I don’t think it’s caught on enough to be very effective. I can imagine PBS with a bigger membership with a lot more books passing back and forth. It’s like a library online where the books just show up in my mail. As an author with a supply of books I like the opportunity to get my book into reader’s hands that will pass the word with the ability to get reviewed by these real readers.

Cheryl: Who was is your favorite author?

Dane: Although I’m a sucker for Dan Brown and Michael Crichton books my favorite author is no doubt Jon Krakauer. I love true stories, and he somehow finds some great subjects to write about.

Cheryl: What was your favorite book as a child?

Dane: Although my parents were diligent about education I didn’t enjoy reading until college, but I remember Where the Sidewalk Ends very well.

Cheryl: Which genre is your favorite now? Do you read books in the same vein as yours?

Dane: I read non-fiction or history-based fiction. I like to learn something even if it’s twisted a bit with a little Hollywood. I read biographies like mine mostly, but I don’t read bloody true crime. Since coming out with a true crime book I do get my share of crime stories that come my way with people wanting me to write their books. I have passed on them all so far.

Cheryl: What’s next for you? Will there be another book?

Dane: I have yet to start another book of my own. I self published my book Wanted, so my next book will be publishing someone else’s book. I have one or two good crime stories I am considering, but I’m waiting for the right time to dedicate myself fully to another story.

Cheryl: What else would you like our members to know?

Dane: We got approached by a Hollywood movie producer who has optioned the film rights to my story, and this is very exciting. The producer has a big history in crime films and has produced Oscar winning films in his past, so there is a chance that Wanted will be a theatrical movie in the next few years. Established screenwriter Peter Himmelstein is currently writing the script. I’m excited by this because this is my chance to show the world the book, and what better way to market a book that a Hollywood movie?

Thanks to all the members who have Wish Listed my book, and I hope it helps to promote PBS since the idea of the website is genius.




Dane has generously shared an autographed copy of his book, Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber as a give-away to a lucky member who comments on this blog.

A winner will be chosen at random. Good Luck!






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6 Responses to “Author Interview – Dane Batty”

  1. James L. (JimiJam) says:

    It’s so difficult to find conventions in fiction that haven’t already been done to death. It seems that, particularly these days, truth is always stranger, and often more interesting, than fiction. Fantastic interview 🙂 The interviews here are always chock full of insight, but I especially love it whenever the author being interviewed is also a PBS member!

  2. Jerelyn H. (I-F-Letty) says:

    Great interview Cheryl! True crime isn’t my cuppa, but I wish Dane every success!

  3. Veronica S. (snowkitty) says:

    That’s awesome news about the movie. I also wish him great success.

  4. Diane G. (icesk8tr) , says:

    Wow, this book sounds very interesting. Great interview!!

  5. Issa S. (Issa-345) says:

    I can’t imagine what it takes to write a true crime story about someone you know. Makes me very curious to read it. Great interview, thanks Cheryl and Dane!

  6. Sonal S. (ComeGo) says:

    would love to read this!!

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