Although Winnemucca is a contemporary young-adult paranormal novel, the history of the guitar and mariachi music flavors Winnemucca, and so does the spirit of Lydia Mendoza. Lydia was a Mexican-American music pioneer. The first Mexican-American woman to record her music in 1928 at the age of 14. She could be found playing with her family in, among other locations, bull fighting rings. Her family fled The Revolution in Mexico for south Texas. Lydia and her family followed the migrant trail, playing their music. Her beauty and talent quickly made her a star and she would record with The Blue Bird Record Company. Mal hombre [bad man] was her signature song. She was called La Alondra de la Frontera [The Lark of the Border]. She stood alone on stage with only her guitar for accompaniment. "Cuando yo canto esa canción, parece que yo vivo en ese momento." [When I sing, I live that song.] I brought Lydia's spirit into several characters in Winnemucca and was inspired by her story, so I thought I'd share it with you.
She was awarded The National Medal of Arts in 1999.