His novel follows husband-and-wife team Jack and Michelle Townsend on an adventure to find the original ending to the Gospel of Mark as they encounter bombs, high-speed chases and secret libraries in the Vatican.
What you do is you take a slice of life and you manipulate it, Wise said. You mold it into story form that the reader can identify with. What I think a good writer does is try to take you down a road into somebodys head that you could never get inside of and show you some of those surprises.
The book is based in Italy and, he said, took six weeks of intense research. He used experience from his 15 trips to Rome to create detailed accounts of the Townsends surroundings.
I try to saturate myself with the environment of what the storys about, Wise said. I traveled behind the scenes a lot in the Vatican, held audiences with the Pope, and you see a lot of things that stick with you that germinate into ideas for stories.
Using details such as a 9 mm Glock and clay bombs, is this guy really an archbishop?
Ive known Wise as a person who wears many hats, said Mike Owen, a bishop whos known him for 30 years. I asked him many years ago, What makes a good author? He replied, A good author is somebody who has to write. He set up a good discipline he has a wide breadth of experience.
Owen attributed Wises ability to weave a good story to his travel experiences; hes visited more than 50 countries. He builds relationships and bridges with other communities and contacts. Thats how he met Norman-based author Sharon Sala.
It was surprising to hear about his other life as an archbishop, and then not so much, Sala said. I like the way he draws a picture in my mind.
Wise, who spends most of his days writing, cited Morris West, Daniel Silva and Elmore Leonard as his inspirations.
When you read them, its like reading poetry, he said. Each author has (his) own way to make words sing.
Shrouded in Silence left the Townsends room to wiggle into a sequel, but will it happen? Wise said hes unsure about their future, but plots have a very unexpected way of dovetailing.