Why and how does desperation become a gift? That is one of the questions that Robin explores in her published novel – Gift of Desperation.

 Book Cover

In 2011, when Robin had 20 years clean and sober she got a message from her Higher Power (HP) to ‘write a book’ about the healing power of art and recovery. She looked up and said, “Are you talking to me, ‘cause I don’t write. And, I especially don’t write about myself or my feelings.”

But because Robin knows how important it is to have faith and follow directions, she started to write a non-fiction book that would explain about each of the 12 steps through art. She was doing pretty good until she got to step four. Then she said to her HP, there is nothing wrong with self-help books until I get to the required work, then I’m done and put the book down.”

Then she heard, “write a novel instead and create a character that folks can relate to.” She looked up again and said, “you’re a funny fellow. I have no idea how to write a novel.” Then she realized that she could figure it out with a lot of prayer and research.

In 2014 Robin published Gift of Desperation. In Gift you will meet Claire Sebastian as she dives head first into her addiction, finds her gift of desperation, and begins her journey into recovery.

You will also meet Evi, an amazing wounded warrior, who fought her way out of addiction and is now challenged with when and how much to do for Claire. You will also meet “the artist,” who is anonymous.

Robin’s artwork and story is the backdrop for “the artist’s” story. Claire’s story is a culmination of many stories that Robin has heard in the rooms, including her husband’s. And Evi was included to recognize the veterans returning from defending our country and their struggles with transitioning.

While there are many addictions out there, Robin chose alcohol and sex for Claire – figuring most people could relate to that. Pssst – Robin had a lot of fun making up Claire’s sexual exploits and hopes you will enjoy them too!



Click here to keep up to date with the Gift of Desperation

Featured in Recovery Today Magazine



Stephen Fuchs 5 startsA wonderful book

Robin Gilliam has provided an insightful study of addiction and how to begin the slow crawl out of that deep hole. Whether one has been plagued with addiction of one kind or another or not, the book will be very helpful. The novel gripped my attention from the first page to the last. Ms. Gilliam's ability to describe a scene lets the reader find himself or herself right there and is one of the book's greatest strengths.


Donna Dawn  4 starsThis book should be added to the self-help category

The story drew me in and held my attention while it helped me examine my own issues with a message of hope.


Linda Maschke 5 startsLoved this book

It caught my attention from the very beginning. Claire became so real to me and it was hard to put down. I also loved the ending.


Julie5 startsEntertaining and educational novel

Not only was this book entertaining and a page-turner, I also unexpectedly learned a lot about addiction and the healing power of art. I hope there's a second novel!

Here is another novel that helps to break the stigma about mental illness and will inspire and offer you hope!



herWhen Felicia was fifteen years old, her best friend Holly had committed suicide. She found out after her death that Holly had suffered with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) stemming from the trauma of childhood abuse. 

Her is the story of a young woman with Borderline Personality Disorder who courageously peels back the layers of her complex and serious mental illness in a desperate attempt to understand it. It is a story that takes the reader into the mind of someone who suffers with a mental illness to help families, friends and loved ones of those who suffer, understand what it’s like to have BPD.

This novel is to help bring the understanding of mental illnesses and disorders within reach of many young people and families afflicted with these life-changing challenges. HER has already helped many come to terms with mental health issues they face.