A Bucks author, who reckons humans are more like birds than you might think, has just launched his debut novel.

Lee Farnsworth, from Taplow, has released Odd Bird - a quirky and uplifting tale about a scientist who is an expert on the sex lives of birds but a novice when it comes to finding love.

Odd Bird, a rom-com from the male perspective, takes a light-hearted look at the age old battle of the sexes.

The book explores, via the parallels between humans and birds, the different strategies of males and females and offers a new insight on the ancient battle of the sexes.

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Simon Selwood spends his time researching the courtship behaviour of birds, but is hopeless at finding human love - until he meets Kim, and suddenly there is something more important to him than ornithology.

But Kim doesn’t give a hoot about birds - and at first, she doesn’t seem very interested in Simon either.

Relying on what he has learned from observing the opportunistic pied flycatcher and other bird species, plus the unorthodox advice from his best friend and wingman Phil, Simon spreads his wings and sets out to discover love for himself.

Will he make the right choice? And can he trust his instincts?

Lee, 53, said: “Like birds we form monogamous pairs, but like birds we are sexually opportunistic too.”

2020 hasn’t been the best year to bring out a debut novel, but Lee, whose book is published by Farrago Books, says he’s been delighted with the launch.

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“In a way I think Odd Bird has fledged at the right time. People need fiction that lifts them.

“Plus, a lot of people are feeling closer to nature - Odd Bird delivers both of those things.”

Despite the second lockdown Lee remains upbeat, and has been putting the extra time to use, getting stuck into his second novel.

He has also been talking to book clubs about Odd Bird, many of which are still meeting online.

If you would like Lee to participate in your book club, get in touch with him via his website - www.leefarnsworth.com.

Every day since October 1, Lee has also been leaving a copy of Odd Bird somewhere for someone to find.

So far, they have been found in places like the Red Lion in Little Missenden, the Bakedd Artisan Bakery in Maidenhead and the Wigginton shop cafe.

Lee, who grew up on a dairy farm in Lincolnshire, said he always wanted to write a novel - but went to Newcastle University to get a PhD in molecular biology.

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He then spent more than 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry, holding senior leadership positions in Europe and the US before kissing the corporate world goodbye to spend more time writing.

As well as writing fiction, Lee also helps business leaders tell their story, writes speeches and makes films.

He has two children - and a large collection of bird feeders in his Taplow garden.

He also enjoys tromping and mountain biking in the Chilterns.

Although Odd Bird has only just been released, Lee is already working on a second novel and says this one will be “darker”.

But Odd Bird is already getting rave reviews.

Lev Parikian, author of Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear and Into The Tangled Bank, described it as “warm and funny, and wonderful relief”.

Jo Good, from BBC Radio London, said: “I think this is one of the most interesting plots I have ever discussed.”

But Lee himself described it as “funny”, “tender” and “reverent about friendship and science and nature and birds”.

In an online blog post, Lee admitted that if his friends referred to Odd Bird as a rom-com he would “cringe”.

He wrote: “I might even get a little bit defensive. I might say, ‘Well, it’s not a typical rom com,’ or, ‘It is and it isn’t.’

“I didn’t set out to write a rom com. Does anybody?

“Don’t we all just want to tell a story? I just knew I wanted to write a book and I wanted it to be funny.

“They say a ‘what if?’ is a great way to get started. This was mine: what if Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker sat down together to write a comic novel?”

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He adds: “Yes, Odd Bird is a big, fat, juicy, male-led rom com. And I’m proud of it.

“And yet… I prefer to think about Odd Bird as a funny novel. Odd Bird is a rom com.

“It’s also a comedy about maleness and especially about competitiveness within male friendships. It’s also a comedy about nerdiness and particularly birdy nerdiness. It’s also a comedy about the way we laud celebrity over substance.”

Odd Bird is out now - priced at £8.99 in paperback on Amazon or £2.99 on Kindle.