by Khrysti Balanay
Local author Peter Corboy never thought he would publish a book but released The Boy in the Mirror last year.
The Boy in the Mirror is a unique true story that follows Peter growing up in Melbourne in the 60s to the present, working at St Brendan’s College in Yeppoon.
“The Boy in the Mirror came about walking the corridors of a far north Queensland Indigenous boarding school,” he said.
“To keep the boys relaxed at night, I thought I would tell them stories because there wasn’t internet reception.
“Each night they wanted more, and after six months, a voice in my head told me that I should write it down into a book.
“The issue was that I am heavily dyslexic.”
Peter found the school years difficult after an incident with a teacher left him with a stutter and struggling to read and write.
“From that day on, everything changed,” he said.
“My writing needed a mirror to make sense of what I had written as I would write it upside down.
“For three years, I was medicated with valium, which stopped me from learning.
“Schooling was horrific for me, so I left at 16.”
The Boy in the Mirror took three years of writing which Peter completed from midnight to three in the morning.
“I wrote about my early years and then how surfing helped me find myself,” he said.
“How I managed to end up working in 32 different jobs and all the amazing, weird, and wonderful people I met.
“I come from a family of six children, four of which are school teachers, and I gave my writing to one of my sisters who put it into English and added grammar.
“I then engaged a ghostwriter from the Gold Coast where we sat down, and she interviewed me, resulting in The Boy in the Mirror.”
Peter described The Boy in the Mirror as a story of hope and showcased what you can do if you just keep going.
“I left school in 1979, and about 27 years later, I was running an education company Maths Mania which was a hands-on program for kids,” he said.
“A group of teachers and I developed this program and promoted it throughout the country.
“We also had partners in Saudi Arabia, and I remember sitting in a board room pitching my ideas to billionaires.
“I can’t do my times tables, but I have a vision for the future.”
Since releasing his book, Peter also completes mentor talks to schools and workplaces, sharing his journey.
“Schools are now more open to discussing dyslexia and accommodating the students through a range of programs,” he said.
“When I was at school, they would verbally abuse you saying that you were stupid and amount to nothing in life because I couldn’t read and write.
“It was horrific stuff, and it never leaves you, but there is so much in place for kids like me.”
Peter will be hosting an author talk at the Rockhampton Regional Library in late July.
For more information or to read The Boy in the Mirror, visit petercorboy.com.au.